February 4th, 2021



Laura Kipnis has a thought-provoking essay on the good old idea that transgression is always an artistic virtue and how it has fallen into disrepute. Here are some of my thoughts that it provoked.

1. I learned that the fictional mobster Vito Acconci, who plays an Osric-like role in Illuminatus!, is a Tuckerization.

2. Transgression was easier in the 60s. One could transgress, to the point of risking arrest, by saying “fuck” on stage, or publishing waist-up nude pictures of an interracial (but heterosexual) couple, or appearing in public without three items of clothing deemed appropriate to the sex to which one had been assigned. On this last, in 1966 the Rolling Stones could shock by being photographed in dresses. Within a decade or so, the punkers had to up the ante to Nazi drag.

3. I look forward to the day the same thing happens in the economic sphere, with Transgression replaced by Disruption.