"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming. We understand the inertia and despair that you had to overcome in order to be here today, and we are grateful. Don't lie to yourselves. You hate fiction readings.
You think fiction is culture. But fiction is not culture. Fiction is not art. Fiction is the thoughts that travel through your brain at the speed of light when you are fucking someone you don't really like and are still trying to get off and feel good about yourself. Fiction is the scream of the eagle that paralyzes the rat so that the rat can be ripped apart and eaten in the sky. Fiction is a prosthetic heart with an extra valve. Inside the extra valve is a chittering, oily stage-five cockroach that is having an endless seizure as it dreams of the bootheel.
Fiction is fuel for the angry. Color for the rotten. Love for the machines. Consolation for those who have suffered amputations of the spirit that can never be repaired.
The functions of other art forms are clear for the maintenance and well-being of a smoothly-running slave state, but fiction always tends toward freedom and contumacy, and will always therefore be hunted and driven underground. Theater and film provide public relations packages that the fearful can use to shape their lives without work, picking and choosing opinions and moods like off-the-rack clothes in order to keep them from the hell of their own inner world. Popular music is a safety valve for the working classes to keep them hoping for more "life" beyond the slaughterhouse. Nursing homes are full of people clinging to the popular music of their youth, singing the lie and loving the liars to keep themselves from endless weeping. The visual arts ensure that the sensitive and mentally-ill can contribute to Empire: they can decorate the castles of their overlords with representations of their own low paranoias and low cravings -- paranoias and cravings that their overlords can then continue to study and exploit.
The only arts comparable to fiction, however, are surgery and sculpture, because these are the only arts that can destroy life or break stone. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to die or be broken. We are the Fiction Circus, and we reserve our mercy for the trapped ghosts in our imaginations who hurl themselves against the windows of reality, screaming to be given a voice. So please. Relax. Drink yourself into a stupor. You are here because you love fiction. And so do we."
And then we read stories!
I read a tale called "Role-Playing Game" about a group of people who sit down to do some "gaming" with higher stakes than usual. Verdammt read another tale about sweet, lovable Complicity called "A Good Man is Hard to Find." Bill Cheng read a very short story about an iguana called "The Recession." And Dr. Future ended the evening with his tale "Satan in Love," a metaphysical speculation about Craigslist, God, impressive penises, and gold watches.
DJ Carter, of course, laid down sonic threats so large that three people had spontaneous orgasms during the performance, and one person may now be pregnant with Music's Child.
It was a fun night. We held a Fast Hitler Contest and a Cowcatcher Contest. People were dubious at first (a natural Manhattan state of mind), but we set them straight, and by the end of the night everyone was relaxed and actually enjoooooooying fiction. Hopefully, we'll play the KGB again, maybe on a night where there's a crowd.
NOTE: There was this nice kid with a satchel who came in to the KGB to see our show and then was bounced by management for being underage. We didn't know what was happening until afterward. Kid, we are sorry. If you read this website, please get in touch with me and we will make it up to you somehow. We were upset about this, and we want to make it right.
Posted by miracle on Fri, 26 Jun 2009 15:10:16 -0400 -- permanent link