astonishing scales of peals of tinkles of gongings of lightning blue, satin pinks, reds, purples, and all the whites, and the rest.
    “There’s food on every table, here and there in silver porcelain wooden platters slipping from plates into bowls of dip and sauces laid on the tables and marble waiting surfaces: birds, slabs of crusty meat oozing juice the moon curves of mandarins, oranges, grapefruit, the gold and purple of passionfruit, slimy on the tongue but cut by tart, and tarts all slithery in berries and apricots, pale peaches with sugar crusting, melting cliffs of egg white meringue. So here’s one for the chef, the cooks and helpers, the serving staff. Good eating, no doubt, no question there.”
    The microphone made spattering noises from this point on, for Spot was salivating with delirious stoned intensity, laughing his fool head off and biting from moment to moment at his own flanks.
    “Company. The guests. eh? Doing your bit, swarming about, chattering and nattering, bellyaching just enough that we know you’re taking the business seriously and yielding no quarter out of sentiment for Randy and Fiona and the lovely lass herself.”
    Bruce Garbage, the punk crooner whom Randy had flown in from San Antonio, tried valiantly to wrest away command of the public address system but was clearly in terror of having his leather Savile Row suit nipped. Balked, he brought up all his fingers and swung them down in the gesture which at the close of 1981 was to be featured on the cover of Time, and his ensemble seized up their instruments once more and heaved us all into a bruising bout of interactive slam dancing.
    1979: things fall apart
    A scratch afflicts Joseph’s throat. He has been talking at the hike Nitting Circle about the theorists Herbert Marcuse and Michel Foucault for nearly an hour now, much of the time shouting to convey his scrambled thoughts above the incessant kibitzing and Nit-Picking of his close friend and associate Brian Wagner. He eases the irritation with a glass of light, or lite, ale, and snaps with some viciousness at Wagner, “Fucking piss off , Brian.” At once, squeezing his eyes tight against his own aggression, he rushes on, “It’s curious that around the time Marcuse revealed the rather startling notions of oppressive tolerance and ‘repressive desublimation,’ we notice that Foucault was besotted with the idea—Foucault makes this absolutely abominable claim. No, I won’t tell you about that—” Instead, he picks up and displays The History of Sexuality, Vol I .
    “Go on, Joe. He said what?”
    Joseph sighs, rummages again. “Okay, he’s discussing Nietzsche. The Frogs all love the Krauts. No wonder they—All right, he says this: ‘Man, in his finitude, is inseparable from infinity. The death of God is accomplished through the death of man.’ I mean, give me a break.”
    Wagner has a cigarette out and alight, to everyone’s distaste. “He writes badly, yeah.”
    “It’s not just that he writes badly, it’s, it’s almost impossible to believe…Here’s a piece he wrote about Bataille: ‘The discovery of sexuality, the discovery of that firmament of indefinite unreality—’”
    “Hang on. ‘—the discovery of those systematic forms of prohibition that we now know imprison it, the discovery of the universal nature of transgression in which it is both object and instrument—indicates in a sufficiently forceful way the impossibility of attributing the millenary language of dialectics to the major experience that sexuality forms for us.’ I trust that’s perfectly clear.”
    A rustle of uneasy laughter.
    “See, the heightened and prophetic quality of Foucault’s writing from the beginning gets more and more mannered. And his fans love him for it. It’s so poetic . It’s so transgressive .”
    This is no news to Wagner. “He has a linguistic problem, really. They all do.”
    Joseph waves at a wisp of smoke and sighs. “Bullshit. It’s

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