Cruelty is old, sadism is new; it comes in, eponymously, with de Sade—with the French Revolution. Yet de Sade is a disappointment. You think de Sade will be a thrill, in reality he is dull. The reason de Sade is dull is that he says too much—he lays it all out. So de Sade says: “Mademoiselle Chloe pulls apart Claudia’s chat with a pair of red hot metal tongs; then she deposits her merde into Claudia’s pussy while Frederic dips his balls in her mouth…” This is not erotic at all. It is all laid out, whereas eroticism is brief. Eroticism is about suggestion, about a short white skirt that wafts upwards in the breeze to display a panty-lace slither. There has to be mystery about it, whereas de Sade left no mystery.
de Sade thought that the piss Christ is dead and that we are condemned to live in nature; and nature is grotesque. Nature is a big pregnant woman that gives birth to more and more and more life. de Sade feared the jungle, the foetid swamp that teems with life—from little flies on the water, to jungle cats, to a huge white worm thick as your wrist that will colonise your intestines (the white tendrils wave about amid your faeces and velvet-red organs—too many strands to count). This is de Sade’s horror: life’s superabundance, king rat. Every year more and more life is pushed down the birth canal—all the grass seeds in the garden, uncountable spores; and we humans are spores. de Sade says: cut baby from mother’s womb and stamp it to death—masturbate on its mutilated face.
…um…don’t want to seem judgemental—totally respect your views, man—but it’s a bit, um, extreme… Our de Sade would reply that your sentimental attachment to life means that you are yet to appreciate the horror that is fecundity. Have you really looked at a fungus? I mean really looked? No. And you refuse to look, says de Sade, because you know that life is horror. Life is the real crime, all those jellyfish spores and human spermatozoa are the crime. The violence used to end life is saintly—for all those spores will suffer anyway, so better kill them the quicker and have an orgasm while we do it. There will always be more. Always.
A boss once said to me, “You’re replaceable.” This is true not just at the economic level, for as de Sade would say: “There’s one born every minute.” From popes to whores, kill them all—all are replaceable; nature knows no exhaustion—she is mother, she gives and gives. If only, says poor de Sade, as he pulls out his hair in an asylum, we could become marble—sterile and cold. You never see marble in the jungle, you never see a mirror polished smooth in the jungle. No, in the jungle there are billions of spores and the smell—the smell of decay, so much raw life; it is born, lives for a day, and then rots—it turns to ooze.
Where is the beauty found in a sterile surgeon’s knife? Brand new material, wipe-clean sterile surface—kills 99.9% of all bacteria dead. Only 99.9%? If only it could reach 100%, for the gap is so small that more life can enter. Have you seen a Petri dish, have you seen exponential growth—no, not the expression but real exponential growth? Horror.
de Sade is anti-eros; he has a grudge against life. He prefers masturbation, sodomy, and to make a knife slit in a girl’s leg and hump it as the blood flows out. Mm. In his way, he is a kind man; and I say this because mankind is so extraordinarily cruel—though perhaps not de sadistic, sadism is a specialised relation to life that was discovered by a man steeped in 18th-century materialism; and really he wants to deliver you, albeit in an elaborate and vicious way, from the cruelty.