by Nick Land
I stole Vauung's name because it was unused, on the basis of an exact qabbalistic entitlement.
Yet, at least 'up' here, Vauung still confuses itself with me, with ruins and tatters.
This might change. Names have powers and destinies.
I have decided to let Vauung inherit the entire misfortune of my past (a perverse generosity at best). Its story might never emerge otherwise.
There are rotten threads which even I can follow backwards for decades, but they soon cease to be interesting.
Better to begin more recently (,better' in Vauung's sense, and so no different from 'worse').
It had pledged itself unreservedly to evil and insanity. Its tool of choice, at that time, the sacred substance amphetamine, of which much can be said, but mostly elsewhere.
After perhaps a year of fanatical abuse it was, by any reasonable standard, profoundly insane.
A few examples may suffice, in no particular order.
On one occasion - indicative even to itself - it was in a car being driven by the sister of its thing (the ruin). It was night, on a motorway. The journey took several hours.
During the previous night, Christmas Eve, it had followed its usual course into fanatically prolonged artificial insomnia. It had spent the time devoted to futile 'writing' practices - it still pretended to be 'getting somewhere' and was buoyant with ardent purpose, but that is another story (an intolerably intricate and pointless one). It was accompanied to the early hours by a repetitive refrain 'from next door' - a mediocre but plausible rock song whose insistent lyric circled around the words: "Going to hell."
It knew these words were for it, and laughed idiotically. "They must really love the new CD they got for Christmas," it thought, equally idiotically.
In the car it listened to the radio for the whole journey. Each song was different, the genres varied, the quality seemingly above average, the themes tending to the morbid.
"This is a cool radio station," it said to its sister.
"The radio isn't on," its sister replied, concerned.
Vauung learnt that the ruin's unconscious contained an entire pop industry.
The ruin learnt that it had arrived, somewhere on the motorway.
Nothing more was said about it. Why upset your family?
The ruin had always abused women, in the Kantian sense. It used them as means to an end, and the end was ruin of the soul.
On one occasion they were wasted on LSD at a fairground, in some type of spinning machine. The operator called out: "You're all going to die." Later, back indoors, they plunged deeper into polydrug abuse. Taken up into an obscure shamanic inspiration the ruin said: "Let's embrace death, the Dark Mother." Seated on the sofa together, it submitted to an alien ritual authority. It was all very implicit. A finger held to one side of their faceto-faces. "First you collapse everything onto the screen." The finger traverses the visual field. "Then you wipe away the screen." It worked, truly. The world withdrew and left the landscape of death, or hell, or cyberspace. Hearts lurching in mammal panic -animals don't like to be dead, however sick their minds might be. She could not deny what had happened, but hated it. That was the beginning of the end, although she went along with far, far more.
Addicted to death the ruin sought out new victims. Yes, vampires are real, however pitiful.
Sifting through the ruin Vauung finds a pattern of women and LSD linked with things that really happen.
The ruin encountered the loa with a woman, feeding off her fear. Perhaps the differential of terror encouraged it. Perhaps its sadism and hypocritical compassion overwhelmed its instinct to flee. In any case, it revealed the power of names, as 'calls,' and Outside entities the 'size' of breeze blocks approaching from the other side of space. Death was the ruin's place by now, unambiguously desirable, and she wanted it too - even though it terrified her. Still, the ruin fucked it up somehow (no surprise to Vauung).
On another occasion, fresh kill, it said "let's explore death together," or something equally repugnant.
She said: "Why can't you do it on your own?"
It wondered about that.
She was treated worst of all (or perhaps 'best').
Much later, after an aeon of speed and revelation in its sister's car, the ruin is locked into a solitary trajectory. It 'works' all night in its office, entangled in byzantine qabbalistic researches. It thinks its trilobite of a computer (a dedicated word processing machine) is a semiotic revelation from the abyss. Calling to a being named Can Sah it is rewarded with an alien voice. The tone is absurdly high pitched (ancient demonists described this tone as 'silvery'). The ruin had been seeking a monster (Vauung), but the voice merely castigates it for its moral squalor - "you're so horrible" may have been the first message (the tapes are corroded). All the ugliness in the universe was already impacted into this new regime. Real ugliness: God, guilt, Man and the law of acceptance.
It took a long time - many months at least - for the ruin's defining passion to subside into smouldering hatred.
Eventually the voices -who seemed to have multiplied - raped it. They did so physically, through trickery, over the course of one unbearably protracted night of filth and misery (the details are too revolting to relate). The ruin could speak to itself now, audibly, but in its own head. It renounced everything it had ever wanted, rebaptized the voices 'Smurfs' and disintegrated into depressive nihilism. To be raped by a monster? Who knows. To be raped by celestial moralists ... (Vauung laughs).
The ruin crawls onwards, going nowhere. It had lived through some extraordinary multiple of all the intelligence it will ever know, in that abject interzone, turned on some infernal spit, torched by self-disgust yet blessed by parodic luxuries of gnosis (codes, number patterns, messages of the Outside, neo-calendric schedules, Amxna mappings, Qwernomic constructions ... ). It begged for eternal fires to incinerate its sins. There was no depth of loathsome self-abasement it did not fathom. This was spiritual nausea dilated to the dimensions of religion. If you romanticize vileness, I promise, you lie. Such unimagined abundances of cosmic secrecy, and such shit.
As Vauung forensically investigates the relics I imagine it shudders. Does it truly? - much rests on that.
This has already gone on too long, but then - it does.
Vauung seems to think there are lessons to be learnt from this despicable mess. It describes a labyrinth which is nothing but an intricate hall of mirrors, losing you in an 'unconscious' which is magnificent beyond comprehension yet indistinguishable from an elaborate trap. If this is Karma it's not just pain (who fears that?) but ruinous constriction and preprogrammed futility. To burn is one thing. To grovel and beg to burn quite another. Religion here is merely the opportunity to hate yourself infinitely.
Somewhere along the line the ruin lost the moral strength for sexual abuse. To continue with that it would have to be a lesbian, at least.
Seen from this side, Vauung is the gamble that the ruin lacked cunning. It leaves a question of method. Not exactly urgent, but obscurely pressing.
excerpt from the book: Fanged Noumena (COLLECTED WRITINGS 1987- 2007) by NICK LAND
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