The Chumps of Choice

A Congenial Spot for the Discussion of Against the Day, by Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Cornell '59, and Any Other Damned Thing That Comes Into Our Heads. Warning: Grad Students and Willie-Wavers will be mocked.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Tell Me, Baby, You Ever Been Four-Cornered?: pp. 260-279

Welcome back, Chumps of Chance, to another weekly installment of of everyone's favorite turn-of-the-20th-century, transnational, steampunk opus, Against the Day, brought to you this week, as every week, by Vibe Corp, manufacturer of high quality vibrations since 1885! This week's rollicking adventures brings us back to Colorado, where we rejoin the continuing saga of the Traverse family. As I'm sure you all recall, my dear Chumps and Chumpettes, the Traverse family is in a shambles since its patriarch, Webb, was murdered by Deuce Kindred and Sloat Fresno, a couple good-for-nothings hired by the mining companies to put an end to Webb's pro-Union, pro-Anarchist bombing campaign.

Telluride Saloon, 1903, source

This week's readings cover two chapters (the 12th and 13th in Iceland Spar), both of which remain focused on the action in Colorado spanning the years 1903-04. The first chapter opens with Deuce and Sloat "sharing quarters" at a flophouse outside Telluride (260). Bored, the two ride to town to cruise the electric-lit streets and to, as grandma used to say, troll for poon. After an exciting night of whore hopping and opium smoking, the boys find themselves at the Nonpareil Eating House where (who else?) Mayva and Lake Traverse are running the show.

There, the unthinkable occurs: Lake and Deuce start making eyes at one another, start making conversation with one another, and then, wham bam, start making plans for marriage. Deuce, it should be noted, understands the strange situation he's getting into -- "she had the man's face, for Christ's sake" (262). Lake, by contrast is not explicitly privy to this information, though "[s]ome would've said she knew even then what she'd done. Could not have helped knowing, God sakes" (263).

Needless to say, this decision is viewed as questionable. Lake and a coworker, have an argument that climaxes when Lake "slam[s] a plate down so hard that the stack of hotcakes on it, each glistening with bacon grease, went toppling, rudely surprising a single-jacker who snatched his hand away screaming" (264). This is followed by Mayva's and Lake's falling out: the two argue; Lake reveals that she is engaged; and Mayva packs up and leaves town. It is the last time Lake sees here mother. Even Sloat is disturbed when he hears Deuce's marital plans, and he wonders if it's possible "Deuce was being haunted by what he did, and that marrying Lake looked like some chance at putting that one ghost to rest, some way, God help him, of making it up to her?" (266).

They marry in a ceremony officiated by a Swedish minister, Lake in "a simple dress of pale blue albatross cloth" (266). Sloat, best man, drops the ring. The Swede sends them off with an aphrodisiac of peach tinctured everclear.

My favorite passage so far:
She was a virgin bride. At the moment of surrendering, she found herself wishing only to become the wind. to feel herself refined to an edge, an invisible edge of unknown length, to enter the realm of air forever in motion over the broken land. Child of the storm.
Which is pretty much the high point of the relationship. Soon Sloat moves in, and, no time flat, we've got sodomy, double penetration, the taste of shit mixed with other fluids, bestiality-tinged bondage, and an indecent act performed directly above Four Corners.

Meanwhile, the mine company is concerned that Deuce didn't actually kill Web. They tell him the bombings have continued unabated, same M.O. as the Kieselguhr Kid. And then there's that other thing, that "'matter,'" the mine officer tells Deuce, "'of your personal relations with the subject's daughter'" (270).

Things get tricky when Lake starts suspecting something's up and wants to know why the mine owners are after Deuce, the reality of which Deuce cannot, of course, relate. Sloat also starts getting nervous and Deuce begins to suspect that his partner has sold him out to the mine companies. The chapter ends with Sloat's departure and Deuce having a vision of "a luminous face suspended above where her [Lake's] own [face] would have to be, would have to, for this spectre floated high, too high, off the ground, or where the ground was supposed to be" (272).

The second chapter also follows the aftermath of Webb's death, but focuses on Frank who, Reef having "gone his way, . . . glide[s] back down to Golden on winds of inertia" and onto Denver where he spends the next year going through "a number of disguises" (273). The disguises mustn't be very effective, as Frank is continuously propositioned with job offers from Vibe Corp., which, being that he suspects Vibe of being involved with Webb's murder, he finds kind of icky, so that he is "soured . . . on silver and gold" altogether (274). And heck, "[t]he table of elements was full of other possibilities, 'the weeds of mineralogy,' as one of his professors used to say, 'just sitting there, part of the Creation, waiting for someone to figure out how they can be made useful" (274).

Zinc! source

So instead, Frank heads to Leadville where there's a "Zinc Rush" on, and Tom alludes in rapid succession to the the repeal (in 1893) of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890, to Haw Tabor, and to chemistry puns ("Molly-be-damned"), before we meet Frank's new romantic entanglement, Wren Provenance, "a girl anthropologist a year out of Radcliffe" (275) who came "west to search for Aztlan, the mythic ancestral home of the Mexican people, which she believed to be located somewhere around the Four Corners" (277).

She and Frank then discuss the slag heaps around town that bear a more than passing resemblance to mysterious, ancient forms like the great pyramids, adding that "'[t]hat shape is common to a lot of the old cultures. Secret wisdom -- different details, but the structure underneath is always the same'" (275).

The Great Pyramids, source

Then, a flashback to Frank and Wren's first meeting, at first in a bar with a number of Harvard chums, then later that evening, when Wren, presumably trying to keep pace with Lake, turns out to be quite the kinkstress herself. She and Frank head over to Jennie Roger's House of Mirrors, where Wren finds it "'a relief to be back in stays again'" (276) and "'simply ruined . . . for everyday bourgeois sexuality'" (277).

Corset (without stays), c. 1900, source

Returning to the main action, Wren explains her research to Frank, telling him of the catastrophic end of the Aztlan people, who, following an "'incursion from the north,'" climbed "'up the steepest cliffsides they could find and built as securely as they knew how defenses against . . . well, something'" (277). She shows him pictures of the invaders from wall drawings, "people with wings . . . human-looking bodies with snake and lizard heads, above them unreadable apparitions, trailing what might have been fire in what might have been the sky," as well as signs of cannibalism (277).

Orestes Pursued by the Furies, by William-Adolphe Bourgueeau, 1862, source

Later, out at the bars, Frank and Wren run into Booth Virbling, city crime reporter, who tells that he's seen Reef recently, and that Frank's brother is "flush, but downhearted," from which information Frank begins to feel that it may be his time to take up the family cause (279). Frank, through unnamed sources, has discovered the identity of his father's killers but is, as yet, unaware of his sister's actions. The chapter ends with Frank deciding to return to Telluride to check on Mayva and Lake as Wren heads off to study the South Pacific islands. She advises that he return to Telluride undercover, which, as he ought to be sober to act with such stealth, requires them to drink up now.

Here ends the reading.


At Monday, February 26, 2007 3:27:00 PM, Blogger Axiomatic.Apricot said...

A quick note, all. Make sure to check out the source page of the image of the Telluride Saloon. It contains dozens of other turn of the century saloon images, electric lights blaring, from such CO hotspots as Leadville and Cripple Creek.

At Wednesday, February 28, 2007 6:09:00 AM, Blogger Monstro D. Whale said...

Is there a reason that the porn scenes are so deliberately gratuitous? Just when you think its gone as far as its going to go, you find out that Frank won't bathe. Seriously. I'm no prude, but that's disgusting. I think, though, that the point is that I'm supposed to be disgusted--but why does Pynchon include this orgy of putrescence?

At Wednesday, February 28, 2007 6:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just when you think its gone as far as its going to go, you find out that Frank won't bathe.

he does have a thing for kinky outré sex scenes. if it's any consolation, so far AtD hasn't topped what he came up with for Gravity's Rainbow.

At Wednesday, February 28, 2007 7:08:00 AM, Blogger Will Divide said...

Thanks, A.A. Here again the author sets us thinking about the nature of electric light as something more malign than the old-fashioned gas variety, as outlined earlier at pg. 233:

Despite the growing presence of electric street illumination, London in resolute municipal creep out of the Realm of Gas, he had begun to discover a structure to the darkness, dating from quite ancient times[....]

The electric light in Telluride turns wrinkles in clothes and skin inside out. (260:16)

Electric light is one medium considered by McLuhan in Understanding Media, especially its effect on human agency in its role as an extention of the human nervous system. McLuhan also posits that such extentions require a concomitant numbing, or shutting down, of other senses to accommodate the new powers.

(If you even wonder if nitwits yelling personal details into cell phones in public places ever hear themselves, the answer is no. McLuhan was correct.)

Electric light has turned us inside out, and pushed away elements of the old world order, a new "illumination" which has made the entirity of existance harder to see. The spirits, though, have not gone anywhere.

I loved how Pynchon turns a kind of frontier dream from some John Ford movie, the gunslinger tamed by the love of a spirited filly - complete with a prarie chapel with forever views, into a grim pornographic exercise, with little apparent joy on anyone's part.

Wren Provenance, though, is clearly a girl who knows how to enjoy herself outside the realms of everyday bourgeois sexuality, perhaps because she has already seen evidence of the darkness at the dig at Aztlan. Anyway, her getup at the top of pg. 276 might put some readers in mind of Katje, also in front of mirrors, back in GR.

But Wren, we see before she goes off to the South Pacific (that destination of so many anthropology grad students influenced by Franz Boas), has made her own transit of the Stations of the Cross (pg. 279), perhaps her own version of the real journey to the unbearable Jerusalem (251:38) which the true pilgrim, our author is maybe telling us, must needs accomplish. (And that a roughsex threesome at the intersection of four states, an arbitrary spot of the new western order, just does not cut it in the spirit quest department.)

Anyway, off Wren goes in this strange and episodic novel, and I can only hope, like Frank, that we will meet again someday.

At Wednesday, February 28, 2007 3:15:00 PM, Blogger Civic Center said...

Dear monstro: I think you mean "Sloat" not bathing rather than Frank. And I was as offended as you by the degrading sex scenes, but I'm pretty sure that was the intent of the author. As far as axiomatic apricot's lighthearted porno pics and descriptions of the sex in his otherwise excellent synopsis, well, different strokes for different folks.

On page 272, penultimate lines, Deuce is seeing a ghost of Lake hovering that seems to be her spirit: "Nor was it exactly her face, either. Because it did not reflect light, as from skies or hearthsides, but emitted its own, was marked by that clear sense of a resource being recklessly spent, with nothing gotten back -- an expression, you'd say, of sacrifice."

It sounds like we're getting back into unbidden grace and penitential grace and let the theologians start the mud-flinging. And I agree with Mr. Divide, I hope Miss Wren makes a reappearance. Though she may be into kink, it didn't feel like humiliation or "sacrifice" as in the case of Lake.

I'm curious to know what becomes of her since she terrified her deceased father. Back on page 190, lines 25-29: "He [Webb] had got something down his spine that he thought meant he was about to be hit by lightning. Only understood later it was fear. Fear of this young female spirit who only yesterday would come wriggling dirty-faced into his arms."

At Wednesday, February 28, 2007 9:19:00 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

I guess I think the difference in the couples is that Lake, and Deuce are trying to get something out of sex that can't be got. Lake is such an injured child and what they offer her is like heroin. The approach is addictive degrading and leading toward annihilation. She is lookig for liberation in her bad girl role and that arouses their predatory rut. But it isn't the sex acts; it's the lack of all the things that seem to accompany what we call love, like intimacy, vulnerability , 2 way flirtation,shared feelings honesty,fights about dignity and responsibility, the establishing of boundaries. Even the tenderness they do feel seems like an innoculation against anything more real. Its like ecstasy here is as common and empty as red dirt. The lie they are hiding is what empties everything between them of possiilities , they are privateers living on blood money from the murder of their own. One is left in the scene at the four corners not with a sense of the freedom of the 4 directions, but the downward weight of the ravaging of the earth and family , the colonization of innocence space and time. And the horrible part is that we can feel the intense pleasure of it.

Wren is an anthropologist of the psyche as well as culture, exploring roles, playing parts, toying and tinkering in subtle ways with herself and Frank. Lake stays put, Wren flies free.

I wonder in the Slate, Deuce, Lake trio about structure, the 3rd intervening element. The interface. The 2 become 1 and the the sense is that the only child that can come from this union is the Godfather who came to the honeymoon.

At Thursday, March 01, 2007 5:38:00 AM, Blogger Will Divide said...

I took Deuce's vision on pg 272 (Nor was it exactly her face) to be one of Webb. Back at 262 we are told (in italics) that Lake had the man's face.

Another meaning of "Deuce Kindred" is second cousin, and it makes me wonder if what is being sketched out here is some familial conflict more interior and old than a recent contract killing of an anarchist.

What bugs me about the passage, something which brooktrout addressed beautifully, is the compulsive nature of Lake's, for want of a better term, need of abasement. The writer is cheating readers a bit by not offering a deeper look into Lake's psychology here.

Nabokov took great care in Lolita to assign a root to Humbert Humbert's horrible obsession, and even The Story of O, that famous S&M romp, offers an explanation (rather thin, imho) for O's willingness to be be so persistantly violated.

Part of the problem here is that Pynchon describes Lake's transit from feisty virgin to beatup fuckdoll in a very short amount of space. It is skillfully enough done, but, I think, he leaves several wires showing. We wonder about Lake, but do we care?

At Thursday, March 01, 2007 3:54:00 PM, Blogger Axiomatic.Apricot said...

Howdy all,

Hope no one was too offended by Lake and Sloat. If there are any parties who do have a serious problem, I'll replace the image without hesitation. While it didn't seem wholly appropriate, it did seem quite apropos.

That said, the Lake/Deuce/Sloat relationship might be the part of the novel I've had the most trouble digesting so far, not because of the profanity or the graphic descriptions, but because I'm not wholly sure I buy it from a characterization/psychological perspective. As Will pointed out, it all happens very fast. They fall in love over the course of about two pages, mostly without actual description of their interaction, and the move from manage a deux to trois is equally rapid. Tom provides us with some background for why she might be sinning against her father in this way, what with their estrangement and all (note, btw, that her virgin bridedom means that Webb's accusations of whoring were unfounded, or at least mostly so), but this is a pretty big pill to swallow without a lot of sugar.

At the same time, insofar as he does succeed, which I think he certainly does to at least some degree, it makes Lake a remarkably interesting character from a psychological/realist perspective, which is rather uncommon for ol' Pynch. I think it's a bold move in that it plays to his weaknesses as an author, I just remain slightly less than fully convinced. Perhaps, though, the speed of the transition is meant to emphasize the perversity, to make sure that the reader is not, as in Lolita, seduced, even momentarily, into thinking that no crime is being committed. Pynchon wants to make the text as perverse as the act.

Contrast this with Wren who, while she may not be group sexing it up with her dad's killer, is in someways, more insidious insofar as she is more seductive. A product of a monied background, she represents some of the same raunch that Lake represents (esp. w/r/t their fondness for bondage) but airbrushed clean by capital and its attendant production values.

All that said, Brooktrout, I agree that Tom seems to be very conscious about the numerical shift, counting up through 1). Lake, 2). Deuce, 3). Sloat, 4). Four Corners, which, being the "imaginary" axis, is not physically embodied in a character. In some way, I wonder if this transition from realism to (ahem) explicit allegory is intended to be analogous to the transition from real to imaginary?

At Thursday, March 01, 2007 4:37:00 PM, Blogger Civic Center said...

Dear aa: No offense taken at all, as it's definitely arresting imagery.

As for Will's remark: "Part of the problem here is that Pynchon describes Lake's transit from feisty virgin to beatup fuckdoll in a very short amount of space." I'm not so sure we're dealing with a feisty virgin here. Wasn't she a whore in Silverton earlier? Or did I completely misread this?

On page 191, line 13: "Handled by foreign visitors from far across the sea with dangerous tastes, as well as domestic American child-corruptors, wife-cripplers, murderers, Republicans, hard to say which of them, her or Rica, had less sense about who she went upstairs with. Somehow they glided through the nights as if under supernatural protection. Learned not to let their eyes meet, because they always started laughing, and some customers got violent about that."

At Thursday, March 01, 2007 10:19:00 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

I read the saloon stuff that sfmike refers to the same way he did at first but it does leave an element of doubt in the "supernatural protection" line. But I guess I took the description of her first married sex with Deuce as a virgin literally, tough it could conceivably be her first non commercial sex and therefor psychologically virgin for Lake. The same question is key to her fight with Webb.

I think part of the meaning here is about the oedipal seductiveness of acquiring fredom and power and a protective home through marriage. Also about how passivity yokes one to subservience and abuse. As far as the realism, there are alot of very real abusive relations, many involving young girls and kinky sex. I'll bet many of these start with family fights and an angry parent desperately playing their last card: "Do what I say or get out."

At Friday, March 02, 2007 5:08:00 AM, Blogger Will Divide said...

As for Lake's sexual experience. . .

I had forgotten the passage at 191:13 where we learn that Webb's suspicions about Lake were entirely justified, instead reading that brief, and beautiful, wedding night passage as a vindication of Lake from her father's accusations, when it really is no such thing.

What, then, is it? The mistake of an author with too many, ehh, balls in the air? A rather-too-elliptical observation on the workings of Commerce and Sexuality? O-or are there two Lake Traverses in there somewhere?

At Friday, March 02, 2007 6:05:00 AM, Blogger Monstro D. Whale said...

Part of what offends me, I suppose, is that Deuce and Lake seem to be....

Look, you all are going to disagree with me and that's fine, but seriously, she marries the man even though she suspects he may have killed her father, he marries her even though it will probably mean his downfall. The damn thing is set up as massively epic in its romantic possabilities, and then all of a sudden, empty motion filled, heroin-esque sexual depravity.

I'm willing to believe in these two and their feelings for one another. In fact, it felt like Pynchon was asking his readers to re-envision the love thing a bit to make room for these two...but then he kind of blows it all up so that now I can't imagine their relationship as anything more than a manifestation of vengeance, destruction, and moral depravity.

...and I just wonder why this is the lesson we need to learn in order to get our bearings on the moral universe of this book.

At Friday, March 02, 2007 1:38:00 PM, Blogger Axiomatic.Apricot said...

Will -- a slight correction, I think. The passage on 191 I'm pretty sure refers to activities in Silverton in general and not, per se, to Lake's. There's certainly a suggestion that Lake is participating, but my guess would be that Pynch constructed that sentence with a bit of ambiguity so as to set up our suspicions of Lake so that he could then reverse them come the wedding night.

Also, Lake's romanticization of her "badgirl" identity reminds me of the Chums blind, adolescent enthusiasm for their missions. It is, ironically, a function of their innocence, their lack of knowledge of the consequences of their unreflective belief.

At Saturday, March 03, 2007 3:16:00 AM, Blogger kirkmc said...

So I've finally caught up. I've been reading since about early February, when I got the book, following these summaries, comments and discussions. Finally, I can toss in my two sense.

Some general comments on this section:

There seems to be a broadening of the web of characters, with Webb's children each becoming more important. We've seen Kit become whole in previous sections, and now it's Lake's turn (notice they both have sexual encounters with new people as part of their individuation), then Frank's (another sexual encounter, slightly kinky, though less so than Lake's).

It's not clear whether Vibe really was the one ordering Webb's death, but even if he wasn't, his web of economic interests led to it. This is being paralleled with the web of activities of Webb's children; I think TRP is showing us how interrelated diverse actions can be, but that we'll see them come together later.

On electric light...

To comment on Will's comments, it's worth noting that the main thing electric light did was extend--and simplify--the day's rule over the night. When gaslight was developed, people could walk the streets at night much more safely than in the past; when electric lighting became common, this eliminated the need for keepers of the flame who would light and extinguish the gaslamps.

On the brief scenes of sex with Lake...

Pretty out-of-place, in my opinion. Not at all erotic; more like a description of native rituals (such as in the South Pacific Islands). Will points out here change from "feisty virgin to beatup fuckdoll", and sfmike suggests that this is extremely fast and unrealistic. "She was a virgin bride." (267:15) However, in previous sections we learned that Lake was a prostitute (p 190 ff); so there's something fishy here. Since it's unlikely that TRP forgot, is this an alternate reality?

At Saturday, March 03, 2007 9:08:00 AM, Blogger Axiomatic.Apricot said...

Welcome to the forum, KirkMC! Glad you could join us in our wanderings through the book.

At Saturday, March 03, 2007 10:07:00 AM, Blogger Civic Center said...

Ja, way to catch up, Kirkmc. Welcome. However, it wasn't me who suggested that the "virgin to fuckdoll" transition was way too fast and unrealistic, but that's okay, it gets confusing in here.

As for the whore/virgin question, it seems we have three choices in which we can put our faith:

1) Lake wasn't a whore in Silverton and Pynchon was just fucking with us, so to speak, with his description on page 191. Lake enters her marriage to Deuce a "virgin bride."

2) Lake was a whore in Silverton, but her mother goes off to save her, which is explicitly noted at the bottom of page 191: "What was clear to her was that she had to try and save at least one of her children." There's also an interesting exchange between mother and daughter on page 192, lines 29-35 that includes these sentences: "Lake's face puffy, as if just risen from dreams she could tell no one about, older than her mother was used to seeing it. Emptier." I'm voting for Door #2, which would mean that Lake was like a "virgin bride" for the very first time.

3) There are two alternate realities on display, which is more than possible, as Will hints. Besides the explicit doubling of characters: Foley/Vibe, Deuce/Sloat, Renfrew/Werner, there are all kinds of clues that we're dealing with a "Man in the High Castle" alternate reality situation. For instance, the Grand Cohen's explanation to Lew about his dynamite disaster survival on page 221, line 18: "You found passage between the Worlds. Your mysterious assailants presented you with an unintended gift." Or the same Grand Cohen's description of an alternate version of the Victorian era on page 231. This is not to even mention the chapter titles, "Iceland Spar" and "Bilocations." I'm still going with Door #2.

At Saturday, March 03, 2007 11:09:00 AM, Blogger kirkmc said...

Door #2 doesn't seem to work. Page 191 gives a description of what she is doing (arguably, not specifically mentioning Lake, but the section begins with "I'm so bad..."). There's also the question of the money she brings home on page 190...

At Saturday, March 03, 2007 1:37:00 PM, Blogger Civic Center said...

Dear kirkmc: Sorry to be obscure. The "Lake was like a "virgin bride" for the very first time" was meant to be ironic, quoting Miss Madonna. Door #2 posits that she was a working girl in Silverton and then became a waitress after her mother came to "save her."

At Saturday, March 03, 2007 2:07:00 PM, Blogger kirkmc said...

Right, and I misread you too. Sorry.

At Sunday, March 04, 2007 1:49:00 PM, Blogger Monstro D. Whale said...

How 'bout she was a virgin bride as far as her husband was concerned because he didn't know her past as a prostitute. Thus, both are ignorant and her treatment is a product of Frank's sexual desire (I guess is the right word) and not because of his preconceptions of her sexual experience.

Just a thought.

At Sunday, March 04, 2007 7:19:00 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

I am inclined toward Mike's door #1 ,but it appears that Pynchon doesnt want to give us a reliable answer to the question Webb is asking. Maybe it is a fundamentally loaded and improper question, like Hebrew or Islamic priests checking a young girl's hymen . It may not matter. In the end I think Pynchon is asking for us to sympathize with Lake in order to understand what is happening to her, to grant Lake a desire for innocence as real as her bad girl status, despite the fact that neither of these 2 inner narratives offer any hope to her actual situation .

Even for the hard cases there is something about marriage that offers sacramental renewal, the birth of a new possibility. But the truth may be that it is endowed with such potential only if this possibility is actively and equally pursued. The personal histories, the secrets, lies and personality disorders don't fall away in the wedding chapel though they may be dealt with more effectively in a good marriage than alone.

Lake is similar to her mother in that she stays married to a man with a secret life, another all too common silent veteran of an unspeakable war.
This is a classic patriarchal structure, and it seems to meTRP may be establishing a kind of grounds for indictment of these patriarchally determined roles and their underlying assumptions by setting them in a Family whose journey( Traverse) is the unifying focus of the novel.

Webb's underlying failure, his heroic flaw, is that he takes on the role of defending the workers who are being abused by the mine owners, but he fails to take on the role of loving them in person as father, husband, friend , confidante. HIs resistance is dedicated and heroic in its aspiration. He becomes a legendary threat to the mine owners. But something is crucially missing. How can you work for a better and more equally shared future if you don't create a better, more equally considerate now. The deepest split in his inner life is with the feminine: Teresa, Mayva, and most terribly with Lake. He becomes a soldier for anarchy but hangs on to his own Patriarchy.

Lake reveals the flaws of anarchical (or any other)fundamentalism, the degradation of capitalist imperialism, the emptiness of outlaw freedom, and the foolishness of allowing unquestionable salvific fairy tales to define you.

If lake doesn't overcome her passivity, she is, as I said earlier, fucked from all four directions. And so is America if we don't give up our very similar bondage.

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