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March 14th - 20th, 2005
March 18th, 2005
Drumroll, Please
And now, the Daily Mingus would like to present its first true literary essay, as written by Master's Candidate (Women's Studies), Bernard Hurley. Bernard has cautioned me that the essay needs fuller documentation before he submits it, and perhaps a bit more development in areas. As I mentioned earlier, he is interested in feedback on this from 'the layman', or anyone who has read the book.

If you have questions for myself or Bernard, please ask, and we will try to answer them in the near future. Thoughts and vigourous debate are encouraged. If you think it is brilliant or bullshit, let us know. And now, without further ado:

A Freudian Reading of Mingus Tourette's Post-Novel Nunt

With the nature of masculinity becoming more and more fraught with doubt as the Western world slowly sloughs off the shackles of patriarchy, a new sub-genre of literary works has emerged which deals with the male subconscious in a sometimes shockingly overt way. Exemplary among these works is Mingus Tourette's long poem Nunt, which deals with a man's attempt to re-assert his traditional manhood after failing in the traditional societal roles of both husband and father.

Freudian implications can be found throughout the work, beginning with the preface, which outlines the horrific miscarriage and ensuing divorce which spur the violent bender that makes up the bulk of the book. Clearly, Tourette's unsettled state is created by his attempt to assume the adult, post-Oedipal role of father and husband, an attempt which fails spectacularly. This forces a regression in Tourette to his Oedipal stage, dominated by his desire for his mother and fear of castration at the hands of his father.

The castration complex expresses itself clearly in such sections as Nunto Two, in which Tourette threatens to leave an adversary "cockless in the gutter". Later, images of castration are once again projected onto others. In one poem, Tourette recounts instructions given him by his “crazy Polish fighting coach” regarding the proper way in which to pull out a man's eye- how to “rip it off like you’re starting a lawnmower”. This is an obvious metaphor for castration, outlined by Freud in his essay The Uncanny. What is interesting about this instance of the castration complex is the explicit links between the knowledge of castration and a father figure, or coach. Tourette has learned from his 'father' how to castrate, and desperately attempts to project this fate onto others, in order to hide his own fear of castration. Castrating others is equated with autonomy from the mother figure, as Tourette attempts to “cut the cord” of his attackers spine, a latent reference to his own umbilical cord. The ability to castrate, that is, the ability to become the father and be successfully Oedipalized, is so powerful that Tourette believes it will frighten off an entire group of attackers. However, drunk and ill throughout much of Nunt, Tourette's chances of performing a castration, physical or metaphorical, on any of hi various attackers is doubtful. His fear of castration perpetuates, as does his longing to surpass it.

The second element of the Oedipal complex, desire for one's mother, is also strongly present, most notably in a section dealing with Tourette's desire to be smothered to death by a prostitute's breasts. Not only is the eroticized portion of the body the breast, the most maternal appendage, but the breast belongs to a prostitute, which implies Tourette's unconscious desire to truly own or possess women, and by extension, his mother. The contingency of his desire on the forces of capitalism again implies Tourette’s fundamental masculine insecurity, as does the conflation of the pleasure principle with the death drive. Also noteworthy is the prostitute’s Iranian heritage, which implies a certain exoticism and causes Tourette to label her “a real old-fashioned Middle Eastern whore”. This reinforcement of women as ‘other’, can be read as yet another desperate attempt to identify with ‘men’.

This persistent re-inscribing of the subject/other binary finds latent expression through Tourette’s ubiquitous reference to defecation. In the anal stage of development, the ejection of faeces plays a key role in the creation of ego boundaries, and the differentation of one’s self from the outside world. Developed by Kristeva into a psychoanalytic explanation of sexism, homophobia, and racism, abjection is what Judith Butler cheerfully describes as “the mode by which Others become shit”. However, since abjection is only possible through the permeability of the body, it also signifies moments of exchange and transgression, a connotation that Tourette is clearly aware of in his many descriptions of anal penetration. Sometimes, Tourette is the subject excreting, such as when he symbolically rejects urban society by “leaning backwards over [the balcony] rail/defecating on the city”. In other places, he identifies himself with the matter being objected, most notably in a passage conflating his phallus with faeces, advising a sex partner that anal penetration is like “taking a big shit”, but “in reverse”. This self-identification with the abject is politically suspect, as true abjection, true ‘othering’ is always a process imposed by a hegemonic power structure, never deliberately assumed. Tourette’s self-abjection can only be read as an expression of profound psychic anxiety, or perhaps a martyr complex. These moments are fleeting, however, and the subject matter soon returns to the abjection of the ‘girls’ who remain passive receptacles of his phallus/faeces.

However, Tourette’s treatment of women is not an one-dimensionally chauvinistic as it appears on first glance. As argued by feminist psychoanalyst Laura Mulvey, fetishized images of women have nothing to do with the women in question, but are rather mere projections of man’s castration complex. Women signify lack. This identification of femininity and castration can be seen in Tourette’s repeated assignment of female characteristics to the male adversaries he attempts to castrate, describing their “skirt[s]” and “cunt hairs” and calling them “cock suckers”. The complications do not end here. Throughout Nunt, Tourette also feminizes himself. Not only does he inhabit the pathologized, ill literary body that patriarchy has indelibly equated with female-ness, he even takes a turn as the exploited sex object in Nunto Forty. While this is clearly not an expression of sympathy with the female gender, it can be read as a concession of the goal of post-Oedipalized manhood. By identifying as feminine, Tourette castrates himself . This act is both the ultimate expression of the death of the pleasure principle, and the closest Tourette can get to idealized manhood. If Tourette cannot succeed independently, he will at least fail independently. This perverse autonomy epitomizes what Nina Baym refers to as a “melodrama of beset manhood”, and perpetuates the patriarchal cycle of exploitation and implied female fault that characterizes the Oedipal complex. As Tourette is fond of saying, no man can hurt you as much as you can hurt yourself.

March 18th, 2005
Typical St. Patrick's Day Conversation
Editor's Note: What follows is a direct transcript of an online interview / chat between Mingus Tourette and a hyperventilating Bernard Hurley. Bernard's groundbreaking paper, referred to in the beginning of the interview, will appear tomorrow. It is entitled A Freudian Reading of Mingus Tourette's Post-Novel Nunt. We now join the interview in progress.

BH: Oh Mingus, Mingus, for someone as enlightened as you are, you sure don't understand opression worth a damn. I was re-reading your little book for school, and it made me sad. I'm sending along my Freudian reading of it, to try and help you break out of your bubble.

MT: That sounds fascinating. I'll try not to lose my erection in the meantime.

BH: Stop being so GD FLIPPANT. What really pisses me off is the pose you take through the whole thing, the "poor me, I'm an able-bodied middle-class white male, feel my pain" bullshit.

MT: You're an able-bodied middle-class white male. Am I supposed to feel your pain?

BH: That's not the point. You think you know pain? Try childbirth. Try minimum wage. There are women in this country who would kill for your privilege.

MT: I would love to try childbirth. BUT I CAN'T. And neither can you. Ball-steamer.

BH: Here's what you're doing: You're glorying in your own opressive power, sullying the snatches of schoolgirls to prostitutes and back, and expecting womynkynd to thank you for the favour. But deep (deep) down, you know that what you're doing is unspeakable. You feel guilty. So you talk and talk about how weak you are, how ill. You call yourself "a newborn", "fledgling", "too weak to stand" (clearly, an unconscious reference to your own omni-present phallus, an attempt to make it flaccid, and therefore non-threatening). Hell, you even take a turn as the whore.

MT: You spelled 'opressive' wrong. And who says I'm referring to myself as 'the fledgling'? You're missing the author's intent there. And trust me - when you fuck a woman right, she DOES thank you. AND - we all take a turn as the whore.

BH: What you're trying to do is co-opt the victim role that you and your type have forced upon and into women for generations, in order to defend yourself from claims of oppression. You think that childishness and weakness aren't completely and irreversibly linked with femininity in the national consciousness? Read any book in the western canon. It's pathetic, really. My supervisor wrote a book about it. It's called Auto-pathology: The hysterics of doubt. You should read it. When you're ready to stop dodging your male guilt by insidiously identifying yourself with your victims, you'll fell much better.

MT: If I don't have time to read my hippo book, I'm certainly not reading your cow book. That kind of rhetoric gives my colon the shakes.

BH: Fine. But you HAVE to read this passage from Andrea Dworkin's book Intercourse:

Male-dominant gender hierarchy, however, seems immune to reform by reasoned or visionary argument or by changes in sexual styles, either personal or social. This may be because intercourse itself is immune to reform. In it, female is bottom, stigmatized.

Intercourse remains a means or the means of physiologically making a woman inferior: communicating to her cell by cell her own inferior status, impressing it on her, burning it into her by shoving it into her, over and over, pushing and thrusting until she gives up and gives in— which is called surrender in the male lexicon. In the experience of intercourse, she loses the capacity for integrity because her body—the basis of privacy and freedom in the material world for all human beings—is entered and occupied; the boundaries of her physical body are—neutrally speaking— violated. What is taken from her in that act is not recoverable, and she spends her life—wanting, after all, to have something—pretending that pleasure is in being reduced through intercourse to insignificance.

MT: I can't believe a book titled Intercourse could be so neuron-splittingly dull. And, in my world, female is not bottom. They get to ride on top whenever they want. Come on - I worship at the altar. You should see that. And really - what is she advocating? Giving up intercourse? Does she know HOW REPRODUCTION WORKS?

BH: That's not the point. This is about perspective. Now read Nunto Thirteen:

trying to suppress a little grin
and show my supposed guilt

for fucking an epileptic
and coming during her seizure

Don't you realize that ALL of the women you have intercourse with are, metaphorically, epileptics? Unable to truly consent or control their actions due to the dis-corporating and hypnotic pull of their misogynist indoctrination? You toss the work "fuck" around as if it doesn't refer to the violent, coercive act of physical imperialism that produces and reproduces the essential inequality of our culture every day.

MT: I did realize that all women I have intercourse are, metaphorically, epileptics. Certainly, they are prone to the following symptoms: uncontrollably violent spasms, stoppage of breath, rigid jaws, swallowing of tongues, speaking in tongues, urinary incontinence, confusion and frothing at the mouth. By god, you've got it exactly right!

BH: Is every member of your gender such an irreverent prick?

MT: Not even fucking close, bitch. Not even close.

March 16th, 2005
Remember Bernard?

Due to the possibility of overwhelming crowds, the Single Onion reading has a new location in Calgary. WRITE THIS DOWN RIGHT NOW!

Single Onion #35 is now at:
Stanton Studio
#102, 1215 - 13 St SE
(three blocks south of Henri's Pub in the Woodstone Studios, still March 24)

And now, a shocking development:

On a few occasions, we have handed the reigns of the Daily Mingus over to a guest writer, or filled the inches with interviews featuring the odd comedian. However, we have never had the honour of publishing proper literary papers in our hallowed pages. Soon, this will all change. Lucky readers, it is my privilege to announce that we will soon be posting a very special intellectual treatise entitled A Freudian Reading of Mingus Tourette's Post-Novel Nunt by Bernard Hurley.

For those who have forgotten, Bernard Hurley is a fellow that I met on tour at the Vancouver poetry slam. We chatted that evening before I imploded on stage, made my move on three UBC undergrad hotties and wound up in the now-legendary ambulance foursome. He was one of only two people to buy a book that night, and we traded email addresses as a result. In mid-November I received a note from him saying that he was interested in writing a paper on the book, and that he had a few questions for me. Naturally curious, I replied, and we struck up a correspondence.

Bernard focussed a great deal of the conversation on gender issues, and asked how much I knew about Freud and Karl Jung. And feminism. This was natural, as he was apparently working at finishing his Masters - in Women's Studies. Scenting something on the wind that smelled like pussy, I started asking my own questions, and it didn't take me long to figure out that Bernard was a man who wanted to be a woman. And, Bernard was seriously considering sexual reassignment.

Now, I've known my fair share of transexuals, so the idea didn't throw me off at all. What did strike me as odd was his rationale for the operation, because Bernard isn't gay. Or rather, he's not yet.

See, Bernard wants to be a lesbian. He wants to be a woman because he desires the beauty, stability and complexity of a long term lesbian relationship. He wants to feel oppression. He wants to express his sympathy for the plight of women. And, he wants to gain meaning.

At first, I wanted to mock him incessantly for all these things. But, after a brief reflection, I remembered that there was probably nothing better than being a young lesbian in love. I mean, I briefly dated one who was waiting for her girlfriend to get out of the remand centre, and it was a moment of flowering beauty. And though I suggested that there were less drastic options than having his manhood excised (such as reading Black Like Me or studying Kabbalah), he would have none of it. And still won't. At this time, he is applying to hospitals to begin the procedure once he finishes his Masters.

However, Bernard still has a number of months to go, and still owes several essays and short papers on literature, pop culture and women. He thinks that a Freudian paper on nunt would be just right for one of classes, and asked if he could post it here to see what 'the layman' thought of it. Naturally, I agreed. I could never stand between a man and his dream of becoming a lesbian.

Stay tuned. More on this tomorrow.

March 15th, 2005
Official Calgary Press Release:
Big Details!!!


WHO: The Single Onion Poetry Night #35

WHAT: A night of poetry, prose, music and mayhem. With readers Mingus Tourette, Mike Gravel, Jocelyn Grossé and Hosted by Fred Hollis with music by Dave Martin.

AKA: The Edmonton Invasion


WHEN: Thursday, March 24. Doors at 7 PM. Reading begin around 8 PM

WHERE: Stanton Studio
#102, 1215 - 13 St SE
(three blocks south of Henri's Pub in the Woodstone Studios)

WHAT YOU STAND TO GAIN IF YOU ATTEND: Personally autographed brassieres, or painted banana holsters. Or a picture of yourself driving the pink ambulance. Also, enlightenment.


HEAD LINER: Mingus Tourette
Mingus Tourette drives a pink ambulance. He is the author of the ultra-controversial nunt, and the ringmaster behind the notorious Write The Nation poetry tour. He writes & edits the gonzo Daily Mingus, and has been detained by police for wearing nothing but a gasmask and an American flag diaper.

Mike Gravel raises hell and swears too much. He thinks Mother Nature is drunk. He likes you more than you know. Way more. More Gravel at

Jocelyn is a talented Poet, Painter and publisher. She just finished her first art show at Steeps in Mount Royal Village and her publication Bemused just launched another issue.

MUSICIANS: Dave Martin & Robin Woywitka.
Dave is an Onion with the heart of a rocking poet and will wow you with his guitar. He will be joined by Robin Woywitka.

WHAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW: That local organizers are taking no chances with protestors this time. As reported last week:

"We've got reinforced barricades, Rottweilers, and spray cannons mounted near the metal detectors." said BF representative, Doctor Law. "Members of Montreal's Rock Machine biker group have been chartered in to provide crowd control. The local clergy has been warned that any signage will be taken as an act of war, and will be met with possible firebombings. We're not here to engage in politics, we're here to enjoy some poetry. And when Mr. Tourette says that we don't do bodycounts, he means it."

So come on down, join us for a drink, prose and verse at Stanton Studio.

Single Onion happens (usually) the third Thursday of the month, ten times a year. Our web site is at:

March 14th, 2005
The Light Bombastic

I wished I was drunk since noon. Instead, I found myself at a dance bar on Friday night, with a woman who wanted to skip the light bombastic, and I didn't, so mostly I sat at the table with a sullen looking Pole who barely blinked when a murder of kids with mohawks and multiple body piercings kept walking on top of the table to get around the two of us. They were living in a squat to the south, and intimated that I might be able to score some drugs there, or perhaps a cheap, rotten shag with a girl wearing a tongue stud and frizzy permed hair. She may have had a tattoo on her ass, but she was moving too quickly to see down the back of her pants properly.

One fellow with mohawk told me that half the women in the bar hated him, and half of them considered him a wet dream. I said something blurred about fucking them in the ass, and that shocked him. I didn't think that someone with six inch hair spikes should have such tender sensibilities. But my senses were numbed by the double-gins, so what did I know?

When I was drunk enough, and had enough of yelling about women, I stood up, popped a raft of floating birthday party balloons with my pen, threw nunt postcards spiralling all over the room and stormed out. The Pole smiled for the first time that night.

But What Happened Last Week? By God, Find Out Here!