the dialectic between nature and the socially
world, the human organism is
In this dialectic man produces
and thereby produces himself.
Luckman, The Social Creation of Reality
believe that an English football star has stolen the infant Jesus--four
times, from four different Italian churches--and is holding him or them
for a ransom of 100, 000, 000 lire?
would I, but it seems to have happened, sort of. But then most things
this confusing modern world only seem to have happened . . . sort
of. . . .
to start at the top, was once the best footballer in England, as well
and beloved as O.J. Simpson was over here, before he got accused of
throats. Now Mr. Blissett is a coach in Watford, Ireland. Unlike O.J.
has never been charged with a major felony, or even with jay-walking.
says he knows nothing about the other Luther Blissett who, in addition
to holding Jesus for ransom, has written a number of anarchist tracts,
including a left-wing history of the Rennaisance, and is suspected, by
the Italian authorities, of being a group rather than a person.
course, claim he is the Devil.
to have begun--the miraculous multiplication of Blisetts--when the
original Luther Blissett became a hero, and a controversial figure, in
Milan while playing football there 10 years ago. Most sports fans loved
him for his derring-do, but Italian neo-fascists hated him for the
offenses of [a] being black and [b] winning higher scores than white
the First (as we better call him for clarity) went back to England,
his triumphs and trying, I suppose, to forget the racism.
the Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth manifested a few years later when
four workers were arrested for riding on a train without a ticket. Each
insisted his name was "Luther Blissett," and stuck to that name, even
hauled into court for sentencing.
Luther Blissetts began to appear, on Internet and even in bookstores.
to whether he or they were or are a group or an individual, they or he
(or she) offered the following explication:
Blissett is not a 'teamwork identity' as reported by the journalists;
it is a multiple single. The 'Luther Blissetts' don't exist, only
Blissett exists. Today we can infuse ourselves with vitality by
any possibility of escaping conventional identities. The struggle is
against the language of the powers-that-be."
isn't perfectly clear to non-anarchists, recall the Dada movement in
during World War I. The Dadaists, in total rebellion against the
of war and the general insanity of everything else, held poetry
at which the poet was drowned out by other Dadaists with noise-makers.
They had art exhibits where the audience was provided with axes at the
door and told to destroy any paintings they didn't like. They held
in public urinals. In short, they began the "post-modern" revolution
conventional "identities" and the language that divides things and
in Paris, the Surrealists held their first art show. To enter the
the audience had to pass through a garden with an incongruous taxi
in the way. Working their way around the cab, they had the opportunity
to observe that it was raining inside of it but not outside. (A whimsy
of Salvidor Dali.) Once in the gallery, the audience-- or the victims,
as you prefer--confronted a sign devised by André Breton:
Or, to move
closer to the present enigma, consider the time novelist Ken Kesey met
novelist Terry Southern. Kesey found to his delight that Southern was
as funny in person as he was in his books and they had a wonderful time
together. Only long after did Kesey discover that he had not met Terry
Southern at all. He had met somebody else--an "imposter" in
I also met
Terry Southern once, or think I did, and also found him hilarious. Of
with Kesey's experience in mind, I might wonder if I actually met the
Terry Southern. But modern anarchists would inform me that even asking
such a question is buying into the language and metaphysics of the
class which oppresses us by defining us. One can only say that Terry
has become a multiple single.
once Luther Blissett was firmly established as both an individual
hero in Ireland and one or many anarcho-surrealists in Italy, life
more interesting for Europeans--the way it was for most of us on this
of the pond in the 1980s when we could watch Ronald Reagan play the
buddy in a morning college football movie on TV, then catch him again
the hero himself in a Western in the afternoon, and finally see him a
time playing the President on the evening news.
Luther Blissett(s) then published a book of essays allegedly by
anarchist, Hakim Bey. It later turned out that only one essay was by
the rest were forgeries--although one was a translation from John
the Oregon anarchist who became famous, or infamous, for declaring that
the Unabomber was his personal hero.
a bit stranger when the infant Jesus disappeared from a church in
followed quickly by the vanishings of three more infant Jesi from
in Marittimo, Tortora, and Diamante, all four cities being on the
the Buddha?" a student once asked a Zen Master.
in the hall," replied the Master.
one in the hall is a statue, a piece of wood! "
. . ."
is the Buddha?"
in the hall."
seem to understand Zen logic better than most Europeans and the
Jesi (or Jesuses?) really caused mass emotional reactions. It was as if
Andy Warhol had sued Campbell Soup for selling cheap imitation Warhols.
ecclesiastical athorities received a communique (written on an old
typewriter) demanding that the Church distribute one hundred million
to the poor, or else:
Holy Child will be destroyed. Anyway, you only care for the
not for the Child's sacral value. . . . In Calabria people die
hunger, thirst, unemployment, mafia, corruption and usury.
employment is the rule. There are no houses. The Church doesn't care
gets richer. If you don't distribute a 100 million lire
of food . . . the Holy Child will be smashed into
Luther Blissett in Ireland told the press he didn't understand what was
going on."They keep doing all sorts of things and I keep getting the
or the blame for it."
in Italy announced that they suspected a sort of Luther Blissett-X--not
the "original" multiple singularity of anarchist pranksters, but a band
of professional art thieves masquerading as the masqueraders. The
stolen have a high commercial value, said the suspicious cops, and
of being smashed they may be sold to the highest bidders, like the
priest in Belvedere remarked worriedly that the only way to prevent
thefts would be to lock all the churches and keep everybody out. The
gleefully quoted him. If there were no thieves thinking of that before,
there certainly are now. . . .
Church distribute the100 million lire to the poor? Will the Infant
(Jesi?) be smashed or sold to private collecters? How many more Luther
Blissetts will come forth from the shadows before this saga is over?
can follow future developments through the following websites:
I sort of
think I know how the first Luther Blissett feels, because a lot of
on Internet still claim I was murdered by the C.I.A. on 22 Feb., 1994.
No denials by me have stopped this absurd rumor, because the conspiracy
buffs who believe it also believe that the C.I.A.replaced me with an
or humanoid robot which writes and talks just like "Robert Anton
Some even claim that my evident "sincerity" in claiming I am "Robert
Wilson" just proves how advanced the secret technology of the C.I.A is:
Any really good RAW android would not only write, talk and look like
but woud necessarily think it was me....
Oscar Wilde said, "The reality of metaphysics is the reality of