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JACK COLLOM

 

DUBYA"

 

 

 

 

Are Corporations Natural?

 

                for Peter Lamborn Wilson

 

Fuck yes they’re natural.

 

Let’s cut back to nature and see what we get.

 

Biotic nature has only the restraints Evolution’s brought:

 

            ––Competition constant, buzzing and shaping,

            ––Stomach-size and the like,

            ––Necessity of gobble-guard,

            ––Appetite simplicity.

 

            The mathematics of the situation known as “a wild animal” are that

such great numbers are pressed against probability that the animal must

be pure/ innocent/ hopping greed just to keep even, to press back

against that funnel and hold a little fistful, a bodyful, of life for

awhile.

 

            Desire is of course the motive force from the gitgo for every

possible living move, from dart of paramecium to massive whale humpings

in Sargasso Sea to each thread loop in a large quilt.  Desire can be

defined as, first, mental picture of an alternate state and, second,

urge to go there.

 

            Generally speaking, conditions keep desire on a pragmatic level.

Robin pulls worm from wet earth and is occupied by the eating of same

for a while, then does it again.  Then is full and, having no working

icebox, lets desire ebb.

 

            Occasionally a weasel will go “wild” in a henhouse - in the artificial

enclosure of domesticity - and slaughter more of those trapped, super-

productive chickens than it could ever eat.  Because it’s quick, the weasel’s

kill, part of a pauseless dance, built into a single impulse.  Or it may

have developed a gourmet taste, in the henhouse aesthetic of excess,

for fresh artery blood, and sometimes for brains.

 

            But usually all the work is done on the edges, where one desire

meets another.  The balance of nature kindly fits a fuzzy suit of particular

limits around a person.  Nobody, almost nobody, goes wild in the wild.

 

            *****

 

            Civilization, of course, starts with the placing of life outside

the intelligent temporality of a continual play of necessity –– i.e.,

the cultivation and control of plants.  Corn becomes stupid.

 

            And, of course, the amazing boss who’s had the wit to implement

this –– well, his children become like the corn.  But then a whole lot

of cross-currents and hybridizations burgeon.  Mutations flourish

uninhibited by dull or slow survival-reason.  weasel-in-the-henhouse

becomes a social ploy, the generation of heroes.  To a certain extent,

castles are built in the air.

 

            Human desire is checked by hastily constructed moralities, by

what might be called the lassitude of the normal.  Normalcy creates a

texture that slows desire by its viscosity.

 

            A mock nature within culture is created that complicates desire

and causes it to flow and roll and repeat, especially repeat, repeat

past nutrition and heat, till it’s achieved addiction.

 

            Necessity either disappears or swells monstrously, depending on your

point of view.

 

            Power, which began and grew as simple personal security, wobbles

and balloons in the ether, replacing air, which is then forgotten.

 

            Water is replaced by gossip, soil by automation, wild animals by

the institution of psychology.  Then art, the light of the first rubbings

against nature’s balance, is replaced by advertising.

 

            Throughout all this, competition, every more desperately, creates

the space around each individual in which it can glow and buzz and exert

slavery.  The more-or-less of this factor constitutes the apex of all

the SUV’s, cell phones, bud lites and ding dongs that make up current

religious paraphernalia.

 

            Naturally, hierarchy sets in.  It’s the awful piling up that occurs

when the details don’t plunge into the submolecular (as with the measure-

ment of a coastline).  With the advantages of artificial movement that

have proliferated, it (hierarchy) becomes, after the pretentiousness of

the church weakens, and altruism is number-crunched, through the thin

saving grace and perversity of art, it becomes business, which grows,

having no real rival, and as it grows the hierarchy casts off all cere-

monial disguise and hunkers naked as –– Corporation.

(The word, from its roots, implies the death of the spirit.)

 

            If this isn’t a natural process, I’ll eat a computer.

 

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

So –– viewing corporations as a natural excrescence, we can act

vis-a-vis their presence as we do vis-a-vis the rest of nature:

 

            Let’s hang on to the sense of nature as being separate from us

for a moment (epoch) more.  Let’s think of the corporation as nature

and of ourselves and the finer bumblings of civilization as being

“human.”  If there are contradictions built into this view, that’s

endearingly human, and workable.

 

            CORPORATIONS AS RESOURCE.  Yes!  Step one:simply start mining

it.  Go in with shovels and bulldozers.  Dig it out.  Process the ore.

Distribute the useful metal product.  And if it takes something suspiciously

corporation-shaped to accomplish this, let’s call it government. ––

Wait a sec.  Folks are presently biased against that term, so perhaps

we can substitute a new one:  “charge.”  Organizations for Good Charge

may freely spring up to moderate any undue centralization of charge force.

 

            The mining process should be accompanied by other metaphors, attack-

verbs:  Clearcut growth and make good things from it.  Gather all lique-

faction in great jars, distill it and make it available for drinking.

Go hunting for the wild animals (psychological entities, remember?)

within the corporate areas.  Don’t worry about overuse of these resources.

Nature will provide.  Extinction, if it occurs, can be celebrated as the

clearing-away side of Evolution.

 

            With a nudge here and a little initiative there (and these moves

are both human and natural), we can turn our attention to corporations

just as the good citizens of the 18th and 19th centuries turned their

attention to the rivers, forests, coal-fields and buffalo herds that

lay about them.

 

            If any justification for this turning of the social head is

required, we can with all the perspicacity in the world look upon

corporations as our forebears looked upon other categories of nature:

            ––As a bounty for which we can pretend infinity, like the passenger

                        pigeons.  (Pretense is, we all know, the prerequisite to

                        effective action.)

            ––As something that deserves attack, since it emanates hurricanes

                        of monopoly, wolfpacks of thievery, locust-plagues of neglect.

            ––As, nevertheless, delicious and there.

 

            *****

 

            Should the corporations (Heaven forfend) be rendered extinct, it

will be time to examine CHARGE carefully, to seek a balance between

positive and negative, to let lightning and all its implications “fill

the gap” the corporations will have left.

 

            Contingency will re-spin what’s spun out, and that’s all we can

hope for.  Meanwhile, the corporations will have been a MIGHTY TASTY

SNACK.

 

 

O U T L I N E

 

I.     Adventure in and under piles of bricks

        A.   Brown Recluse hobbles into cave.

                  1.  Anybody home?  Milk drips from ceiling.

                  2.  Feet sink in black silt, slight thirst.

                  3.  Weasels per acre.

        B.         Sticks cover the poison shore.

                  1.   It’s not really poison;  it’s alka-seltzer.

II.    Gum frozen on a city bench.

        A.         Inside, thinking “shore,” is a magenta arsenic grain.

                  1.   Pleasure ruins the cold ramance.

                  2.   Corn production in Madagascar (1893)

        B.       Ten polyps rise to conquer the scene.

                  1.  Scene III ––Edward enters, with a trombone.

                  2.  Bent woodwinds tumble from police van, I mean wagon.

                          a)   Pitches of pain, or paint.

                          b)   Grim flinches of the lymph. . .

                          c)   Howdy, Boss!

III.   Soaked in pine-needle liquor, the hermit speaks.

        A.        “Imagine cradling a new-born virus.”

                  1.   Drool slicks from his flushed lips.

                  2.   Two or three.

        B.        June speckles the highway with frogs.

                  1.   Sachaverell Sitwell drains his coffee cup of ouzo.

                          a)   Heavy footsteps on the stair. . .

                          b)   It’s Louis Armstrong!

        C.       In twos, the creepy echoes linger.

                  1.   Coalescing into butter and eggs, not to mention scant oratory.

 

with Sierra Collom

3-31-98

 

 

 

S    o

E    ven

P    leasure

T    akes

U    s

A    long,

G    ently,

E    ver

N    earer,

A    h,

R    evolving

I      n

A

N    imbus