Peter Sotos — controversial writer, thinker and musician, probably most famous for being arrested for obscenity because of his fanzine Pure (1984), as well as being a member of the power electronics group Whitehouse — is a man I’ve taken great interest in, pretty much because of what he says in interviews and what you can read between the lines in his explicit works.
Total Abuse is a collection of nearly all of Sotos’ texts between 1984–1995 (including Pure, Tool. and Parasite), and what I find most interesting with this book is the interview and introduction made by Jim Goad. I wrote about this in the paper issue of Ny Moral #1.
Here’s an excerpt from the interview where he talks about humanism and humanity.
Jim Goad: I’d like you to comment on this [line] from PARASITE #5: “Like most humanism, it conveniently doesn’t include humans.” Where has humanism gone astray? What are they not understanding about humanity?
Peter Sotos: Well, I think we’ve been talking about it, really. These people have these dreams and fantasies, it’s like people who decide when they’re two, or when they’re going to their first prom, they decide, “You know, mom, I wanna have a really high-paying job, and I want to have two kids, and someone who loves me, and go out on Friday nights to balls and dances”, whatever they think, I don’t know. And just their whole life shows you that that’s not gonna happen… And they still cling to these things, not as sort of dreams or fantasies, by the end they’re just these sorts of religious beliefs… And humanists, people who are just so concerned with the human element, with others and everyone’s care and concern, so boggled by the actual information that exists. But once again, you say this sort of stuff, and you sound as if you’re — as if I’m — upset. When, you know, the opposite is true. I’ve come to this from — it just seems obvious to me… People aren’t going to have these rosy little lives.
It seems like it’s wishful thinking that gets misunderstood as some kind of ontological verity.
Yeah, right. They’re dedicated to, you know, “Well, this was promised to me.” And they drive themselves crazy. But the thing is, I do like what life has to offer. I don’t want to sound like, “Nah, this is terrible. Why don’t these people wake up?” I mean, it really isn’t like that. I just think it’s a much more realistic viewpoint.