Thursday

As the theater darkens


a bright light appears on the left side of the screen. The screen lights up.

To be nobody ... On screen shadow of ladder and soldier incinerated by the Hiroshima blast

To be everybody ... Street crowds, riots, panics

To be me ... A beautiful girl and a handsome young man point to selves

To be you ... They point to audience

Hideous hags and old men, lepers, drooling idiots point to themselves and to the audience as they intone ...

To be me

To be you

Command no. 5 ... To be myself

Command no. 6 ... To be others

On screen a narcotics officer is addressing an audience of school boys, spread out in front of him are syringes, kief pipes, samples of heroin, hashish, LSD.

Officer: “Five trips on a drug can be a pleasant and exciting experience...”

On screen young trippers ... “I’m really myself for the first time”

ETC Happy trips ... To be myself ... no. 5 ...

Officer: “THE SIXTH WILL PROBABLY BLOW YOUR HEAD OFF”

Shot shows a man blowing his head off with a shotgun in his mouth ...

Officer: “Like a 15 year old boy I knew until recently, you could well end up dying in your own spew” ... To be others no. 6 ...

To be an animal ... A lone Wolf Scout ...

To be animals: He joins other wolf scouts playing, laughing, shouting

To be an animal ... Bestial and ugly human behavior ... brawls, disgusting, eating and sex scenes

To be animals ... Cows, sheep and pigs driven to the slaughter house

To be a body

To be bodies

A beautiful body ... a copulating couple ... Cut back and forth and run on seven second loop for several minutes ... scramble at different speeds ... Audience must be made to realize that to be a body is to be bodies ... A body only exists to be other bodies

To be a body ... Death scenes and recordings ... a scramble of last words

To be bodies ... Vista of cemeteries ...

To do it now ... Couple embracing hotter and hotter

To do it now ... A condemned cell ... Condemned man is same actor as lover ... He is led away by the guards screaming and struggling. Cut back and forth between sex scene and man led to execution. Couple in sex scene have an orgasm as the condemned man is hanged, electrocuted, gassed, garroted, shot in the head with a pistol

To do it later ... The couple pull away ... One wants to go out and eat and go to a show or something ... They put on their hats

To do it later ... Warden arrives at condemned cell to tell the prisoner he has a stay of execution

To do it now ... Grim faces in the Pentagon. Strategic is on the way ... Well THIS IS IT ... This sequence cut in with sex scenes and a condemned man led to execution, culminates in execution, orgasm, nuclear explosion ... The condemned lover is a horribly burned survivor

To do it later ... 1920 walk out sequence to “The Sunny Side of the Street” ... A disappointed general turns from the phone to say the president has opened top level hot wire talks with Russia and China ... Condemned man gets another stay of execution

To be an animal ... One lemming busily eating lichen ...

To be animals ... Hordes of lemmings swarming all over each other in mounting hysteria ... A pile of drowned lemmings in front of somebody’s nice little cottage on a Finnish lake where he is methodically going through sex positions with his girl friend. They wake up in a stink of dead lemmings

To be an animal ... Little boy put on a pot

To be animals ... The helpless shitting infant is eaten alive by rats

To stay put ... A man has just been hanged. The doctor steps forward with a stethoscope

To stay down ... Body is carried out with the rope around neck ... naked corpse on the autopsy table ... corpse buried in quick lime

To stay up ... Erect phallus

To stay down ... White man burns off a Negro’s genitals with blow torch ... Theater darkens into the blow torch on the left side of the screen

To stay present

To stay absent

To stay present ... A boy masturbates in front of sex pictures ... Cut to face of white man who is burning off black genitals with blow torch

To stay absent ... Sex phantasies of the boy ... The black slumps dead with genitals burned off and intestines popping out

To stay present ... Boy watches strip tease, intent, fascinated ... A man stands on trap about to be hanged

To stay present ... Sex phantasies of the boy ... “I pronounce this man dead”

To stay present ... Boy whistles at girl in street ... A man's body twists in the electric chair, his leg hairs crackling a blue fire

To stay absent ... Boy sees himself in bed with girl ... Man slumps dead in chair smoke curling from under the hood saliva dripping from his mouth ...

The theater lights up. In the sky a plane over Hiroshima ... Little Boy slides out

To stay present ... The plane, the pilot, the American flag ...

To stay absent ... Theater darkens into atomic blast on screen

Here we see ordinary men and women going about their ordinary everyday jobs and diversions ... subways, streets, buses, trains, airports, stations, waiting rooms, homes, flats, restaurants, offices, factories ... working, eating, playing, defecating, making love

A chorus of voices cuts in RM phrases

To stay up

To stay down

Elevators, airports, stairs, ladders

To stay in

To stay out

Street signs, door signs, people at head of lines admitted to restaurants and theaters

To be myself

To be others

Customs agents check passports, man identifies himself at bank to cash check

To stay present

To stay absent

People watching films, reading, looking at TV ...

A composite of this sound and image track is now run on seven second loop without change for several minutes.

Now cut in the horror pictures

To stay up

To stay down

Elevators, airports, stairs, ladders, hangings, castrations

To stay in

To stay out

Door signs, operation scenes ... doctor tosses bloody tonsils, adenoids, appendix into receptacle

To stay present

To stay absent

People watching film ... ether mask, ether vertigo ... triangles, spheres, rectangles, pyramids, prisms, coils go away and come in regular sequence ... a coil coming in, two coils coming in, three coils coming in ... a coil going away, two coils going away, four going away

A coil straight ahead going away, two coils on the left and right going away. three coils left right and center going away, four coils right left center going away

A coil coming, two coils coming in, three coils coming in, four coils coming in ... spirals of light ... round and round faster, baby eaten by rats, hangings, electrocutions, castrations ...

William S. Burroughs

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