Friday, April 13, 2012

Illuminatus! Excerpt: Entropy

"You've refused Heaven, 
so you must travel the harder path through the halls of Hell."
Playboy bunny Virginia

"I wasn't disturbing the peace," I said. "I was disturbing the war." 
I stole that one-liner from
Ammon Hennacy, Catholic Anarchist

A patrolman led me to the fingerprint room. This guy was a computer: "Right hand." I gave him my
right hand. "Left hand." I gave him my left hand. "Follow the officer." I followed the officer, and they took my picture. We went down some halls to the night court, and in a lonely section the patrolman suddenly hit me in the lower back with his club, the exact spot (he knew his business) to give me liver problems for a month. I grunted but refused to say anything that would set him off and get me another clout, so he spoke. "Yellow-bellied faggot," he said. 

Just like Biloxi, Mississippi: one cop is nice, another is just impersonal, a third is a mean bastard—
and it doesn't really matter. They're all part of the same machine, and what comes out the end of the gears and levers is the same product, whatever their attitude is. I'm sure Buchenwald was the same: some of the guards tried to be as humane as possible, some of them just did their job, some of them went out of their way to make it worse for the prisoners. It doesn't matter: the machine produces the effect it was designed for. 

Judge Bushman (we slipped him AUM two years later, but that's another story, coming up on trip) gave me his famous King Kong scowl. "Here are the rules," he said. This is an arraignment. You can enter a plea or stand mute. If you enter a plea, you retain the right to change it at your trial. When I set bond, you can be released by paying ten percent to the bailiff. Cash only, no checks. If you don't have the cash, you go to jail overnight. You people have the city tied up in knots and the bail bondsmen are too busy to cover every courtroom, so by sheer bad luck you landed in a courtroom they're not covering." He turned to the bailiff. "Charge sheet," he said. He read the record of my criminal career as concocted by the arresting officer. "Five offenses in one night. You're bad medicine, aren't you, Moon? Trial set for September fifteenth. Bail will be ten thousand dollars. Do you have one thousand dollars?" 
"No," I told him wondering how many times he'd made that speech tonight. 
"Just a moment," said Hagbard, materializing out of the hallway. "I can make bail for this man." 
MR. KHARIS: Does Mr. Celine seriously suggest that the United States Government is in need of a guardian? 
MR. CELINE: I am merely offering a way out for your client. Any private individual with a record of such incessant murder and robbery would be glad to cop an insanity plea. Do you insist that your client was in full possession of its reason at Wounded Knee? At Hiroshima? At Dresden? 
JUSTICE IMMHOTEP: You become facetious, Mr. Celine. 
MR. CELINE: I have never been more serious. 
"What is your relationship to this young man?" Bushman asked angrily. He had been about to come when the cop dragged me off to jail, and he was strangling in some kind of gruesome S-M equivalent of coitus interruptus. 
"He's my wife," Hagbard said calmly. 
"Common-law wife," Hagbard went on. "Homosexual marriage is not recognized in Illinois. But
homosexuality per se isn't a crime in this state, either, so don't try to make waves, your honor. Let me
pay and take him home." 
It was too much. "Daddy," I said, camping like our friend the Padre. "You're so masterful." 
Judge Bushman looked like he wanted to lay Hagbard out with a gavel upside of his head, but he controlled himself. "Count the money," he told the bailiff. "Make sure he pays every penny. And then," he told us, "I want the two of you out of this courtroom as quickly as possible. I'll see you September fifteenth," he added, to me. 
MR. KHARIS: And we believe we have demonstrated the necessity of this dam. We believe we have shown that the doctrine of eminent domain is on sure constitutional grounds, and has been held to apply in numerous similar cases. We believe we have shown that the resettlement plan offered by the government will be no hardship for the plaintiffs. . . . 

"Fuckin' faggots," the cop said as we went out the door. 
"All hail Discordia," I told him cheerfully. "Let's get out of this neighborhood," I added to Hagbard.  "My car is right here," he said, pointing to a goddam Mercedes. 
"For an anarchist, you sure live a lot like a capitalist," I commented as we got into that beautiful machine crystallized out of stolen labor and surplus value. 

"I'm not a masochist," Hagbard replied. "The world makes me uncomfortable enough. I see no reason to make myself more uncomfortable. And I'm damned if I'll drive a broken-down jalopy that spends half its time in a garage being repaired merely because that would make me seem more 'dedicated' to you left-wing simpletons. Besides," he added practically, "the police never stop a Mercedes and search it. How many times a week do you get stopped and harassed, with your beard and your psychedelic Slaveswagon, you damned moralist?" 

"Often enough," I admitted, "that I'm afraid to transport dope in it." 
"This car is full of dope," he said blithely. "I'm making a big delivery to a dealer up in Evanston, on the Northwestern campus, tomorrow." 
"You're in the dope business, too?" 
"I'm in every illegal business. Every time a government declares something verboten, two groups! move in to service the black market created: the Mafia and the LDD. That stands for Lawless Delicacy Dealers." 
"I thought it stood for Little Deluded Dupes." 

He laughed. "Score one for Moon. Seriously, I'm the worst enemy governments have, and the best protection for the average person. The Mafia has no ethics, you know. If it wasn't for my group and our years and years of experience, everything on the black market, from dope to Canadian furs, would be shoddy and unreliable. We always give the customer his or her money's worth. Half the dope you sell probably has passed through my agents on its way to you. The better half." 
"What was that homosexual business? Just buggin' old Bushman?" 
"Entropy. Breaking the straight line into a curve ball.
"Hagbard," I said, "what the hell is your game?
"Proving that government is a hallucination in the minds of governors," he said crisply. We turned onto Lake Shore Drive and sped north.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy is a series of three novels written by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson.

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