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 Soft Talk - International Times - n° 33 - June 14, 1968

First of all I am on the stage playing the guitar in front of a massive unidentifiable being. Secondly I am part of this beast and watching myself perform... goading myself from the front row to break out and explode.

Inevitably the result is that we are both disappointed, there has been no explosion and (inconsequently) no fusion. The moth of myself has seen the ecstatic flame that tantalises with its ridiculous nearness, unable to embrace her completely and suck her essence, there is no orgasm to share and the only positive result is a negative identification and sympathy on the part of the audience for the failure (once again) to escape the seemingly inescapable shell that imprisons our composite molluse.

The real FREAK OUT is still confined to violence... imagine an emotional experience of the same energy intensity as that created in a fight or any such physical battle... imagine imagine that, o rational male! However... when violence is presented as a spectacle for entertainment, it functions as an effective tittilating device, as it posesses a contagious vibration, easily received, especially by a collection of people. The effects of these vibrations are the staple diet of most communications media... when will there be a headline proclaiming the devastating effects of an outbreak of happiness?

Most performances fail to be anything more than entertainment because the spectator is seldom asked or moved to contribute more than signs of approval or disapproval... both of which are positive communications but they only provide a short lived union between performer and spectator rarely carried outside the theatre and offering no more than a level of pleasure or disatisfaction.

AH total participation... oh communal ecstasy. Whether the participation is in madness, gladness or sorrow the orgiastic wish is still the strongest box office draw. A performance which assists the overcoming of all inhibitions that prevent the confined life spring in all of us from bursting out is the performance that all aware performers must be working on at this very moment.

Primitive peoples, with the remnants of ancient knowledge still with them, appreciate...

[I can't decipher the following sentences and reproduce them as printed in the article... ]



The reason for the above references is that I believe (with my head) a new breed of performer will evolve, or emerge, and the type of performance will be radically different. Instead of being amused with a spectacle, people will amuse themselves under the direction of the New Performer.

The amusement will no longer be a presented fantasy but will take the form of self discovery and experience, hopefully bringing about the destruction of inhibitions that prevent total experience... perhaps mass hypnosis through repetitive music presented under strict discipline on the part of the performers. Or perhaps the New Performer will be a composition of audio-visual energy created by an enlightened group blessed with the true spirit of benevolence.

What do I think I mean by total participation?

Confronted with possible injury and/or death, a man will turn bestial to save his skin. When confronted with an unfamiliar situation he will still be defensive, but this time in a more rational way, using logic (he thinks) as his armour, and he loses the experience in the mud of reason, comparison etc.

The difference between the madness of violence and the madness of the extraordinary is that violent lunacy is of such a low message to every human being. The madness of the extraordinary, being of a higher order, fails to attract the participation of the most enlightened men. (By madness I do not specifically mean insanity and debauchery. I mean here the madness that seems most elusive that of leaving our accustomed repertoire and exposing ourselves to utterly unfamiliar experiences).

This lowering of defences to the unfamiliar is difficult: even as you read this you are asleep.

Well, how conscious are you of your surroundings... do you remember what you felt half an hour ago (if anything)? Do you still feel that you are a trapped soul peering through the two available windows of your body... occasionally, by accident, making contact with something but never contact enough to really feel you have totally participated in the experience...

Well... you ignorant self pitying crab... away with your doubts the wind is your sponsor.

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