BOOK REVIEW: APOCALYPSE BURLESQUE

Georges Bataille wrote, “eroticism is assenting to life even in death.” I really felt that vibe yesterday while reading the latest book from the mysterious fringe author Supervert.

I first came across Supervert’s website around two thousand eight. I had a thing for contoversial literature and I was sitting in a college library googleing the Marquis De Sade. One of the third or fourth websites that came up was Supervert.com which had an online library of De Sade’s work. I clicked on it and thus began my obsession with the obscure author. His site was stripped down, minimal, sterile. He had written two books already and was hosting a library of classic erotica, provocative multimedia projects, and depraved reading material. What really struck me was how simple and mundane the page seemed in contrast to the shocking content of the essays and works presented on it. His site design was a simple white background, blank slate to be projected upon, an institutional wall for deviants to scrawl graffitti upon. Clicking on links and reading his descriptions of literature I would venture into tantalizing texts with his passion and zeal but never his reassurance. He offered no promises of redemption and made no apologies for the atrocities of De Sade or the decadence of Baudelaire. Supervert carved out a little niche corner on the web for himself with the demeanor of a doctor diagnosing a cancer patient.

The latest book he’s written is titled Apocalypse Burlesque: Tales of Doomsday Eros. I got a copy of it last week. The cover isn’t his usual tabula rasa aesthetic. There are silhouettes of bodies adorned by crowns performing fellatio on each other on the front of the book. A bit shocking for a cover but that was merely a tepid image compared to the flash fiction I would be exposed to within. I decided to read the whole book yesterday after slapping myself across the face a couple times to pull my soul out of the millenial dread. The act of flaggelation was apropos and woke my eyes up enough that I became fully ready to be shocked, apalled, frightened, and a little bit turned on. The book did not dissapoint.

Apocalypse Burlesque is a study on deviancy it’s created from this idea that we are collectively engaging in a form of necrophilia as we copulate on a dying planet. The micro fiction in the book are stories of a post rape culture in which the memory of shame is only useful as a tool to degrade sexual partners. Violent sex is no longer taboo. The conversations about it linger on the subject of how honestly the inflictor doles it out. Sado-masachism is no longer taboo but under what ideology are we carrying out punishments for each other? This is a book on the type of sex we have after accepting that our fate is sealed. It’s a vision of the future thats been outfitted for doomsday in which the practices of deviancy mock the beurecratic greed and carelessness that are swiftly making the planet uninhabitable.

The book is comprised of flash fiction pieces. It’s about seventy little deaths across two hundred pages; a six year old dominatrix with a passion for torture runs a legal dungeon out of her bedroom. A group of prostitues offer free blowjobs for any man willing to relinquish a firearm in an initiative to reduce violence. A vibrator with an a.i interface feature is hacked by a fifteen year old who coaxes the owner of it into experimenting with new techninques of self pleasure. An activist organizes groups of perverts to protest the border wall and inadvertendly creates a small community of deviants. Christian God becomes impotent and is mocked by other deities until he takes his frustration out on mankind. An awards ceremony for the most devious sexual act reproduces themes from Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings. Each of these stand alone stories of morally bankrupt society feel like an extension of a reality thats inching closer to the void daily. The fact that we are killing our planet coupled with the transparency of politicians who insist that capitalism should surge on has created a sort of sado-masochistic aggregate. The commodities that define us in consumer culture become sex toys to violate ourselves with.

These are tales of woe. They are the funny pitfals of society pushed to the brink. it’s what happens when nothing is shocking anymore and perverts are blundering through their own apathetic depression. In one of the pieces a group of dominant females run the executive level of a company and implement bondage and discipline as business practices. In another women take to eugenics to weed men out of the human race and keep the remaining ones on a sperm farm in heroin induced comas. What is present in these stories that really set them apart from normal shlock is the political tones supervert takes. Throughout the book he repeatedly chastises the culture responsible for the demise of decency. He pulls no punches and says plainly that white male culture in it’s reign of terror raping and pillaging the planet is the impetus for his brand of kamikaze lust. He tells all of these stories with poetic grace, irony, and the darkest of humor. The book is biting and unforgiving it hits hard and drives home the feeling that the end times may find us soon in an akward state of post-coital stickiness. Still the text comes across with some virtue and pureness. My favorite of all the stories was one in which an aging sadist finds a retirement home catered to perverts. The staff indulges the whims of elders seeking risque thrills in their twilight years. When he is dying he calls for a priest to confess his sins to, not because he is repenting but for a chance to relay his tales of vice to someone who could still be shocked.

Apocalypse Burlesque is available at supervert.com

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