Meanwhile, on Twitter

To celebrate the completion of my hundredth song I will be posting them all on Twitter, @lesserdevil.  Spamming is not cool, so "whitnall lesserdevil" songs will be interspersed between tracks released by record labels.  With the help of a scheduler it should only take a couple of days.

Curiously, there are tracks on Archive that bear my name but which I can not edit, and I have only had one account there in my since its origin.  Most of them have little or no sound.  At the time, Archive and *nix machines did not always function splendidly together.  My best guess as to their origin is that compatibility problem.  It bugs me that I can't get my name off of them, so I will very likely file a complaint with the staff of

The later Romantics were heavily characterized by a fear of minute accomplishment, a point even Byron made once or twice, if not in so many words.  My contribution to the arts can still make me feel small and unnoticeable, despite a lifetime spent in pursuit of truth and beauty.  This is the best I can do at the moment to dispel such melancholia and replace it with joie de vivre.

When I started producing work under the umbrella of Lesserdevil Publishing the species of manta ray bearing that name had not yet been discovered.  It's a glorious thing that my work is in a small way linked to such a beautiful creature; beautiful and dangerous.  Humanity could be described in much the same way.  The name meant little to me before then, just something that would pop on a search engine and stir thought.  Life is amazing.
*Post will likely be updated before the tweet-a-thon is finished.

Another Friday Night in Crazy Land

My name is Lester.  Friends came in from out of town.  I knew both of the girls, even if neither would ever admit it.  The girls wore light costumes and dainty masquerade masks.  One was "Mary," and the other one "Allison."  I know for sure who Allison really is, 100% certain of her real name, her address, her family.  I've been communicating with her regularly for 13 years.  "Mary" swears she did not leave her home, near Memphis, all weekend.  I did not know the guys at first, but then I recalled having met one of them on somebody's sofa in Oxford one weekend during a college football marathon that resulted in the burning of the couch for public safety reasons.  They did show their faces, except on camera; they didn't then because they just don't have the cojones some of us do.
The girls said, "We have a surprise for you.  You said it is impossible to humiliate you, right?"  I said, "It is impossible to humiliate me."  I am fuzzy on details leading up to the "performance," but we had discussed this in some detail before the event, which was supposed to be a party. The girls and I and one of the guys all snorted small rails of what was supposed to be [redacted].

Here's what did happen, regardless of what you might hear from the folks who don't live here in Mississippi:  We did a piece of performance art with the help of a couple of friends.  It was called "Military Discipline."  There was no nudity, although it was meant to convey a strangulating sense of homo-eroticism.  Making people feel uncomfortable for the sake of art may not be the most popular way to broaden an audience' awareness, but nobody can deny that it is powerful   Any skeptical about the truth of my story need only check out the "injuries" I sustained:  They could not have been self inflicted, although the damage to my knees was.  But beyond that, also, there is a public record of what followed, scant and dishonest though it may be.
We took pictures during the ~thirty minute performance.  We also filmed it, although in light of the events that took place I am not surprised almost nobody will admit to their involvement, and a copy of the video has not yet been made available to anyone.  I was NOT drinking, which, as anyone who knows Lester can tell you, is a very good thing.  It means there were no casualties.
We were all did some [redacted] on [redacted] and [redacted] and [redacted], but that was just in preparation for the doing of the art that followed.  It was supposed to just end after the ridicule and beating and electrocution.  There was a small crowd of people gathered around us outside, just people who showed up after it started.  I said nothing and made no sound at all until the last few minutes.  The guys initially were caning the dickens out of me as I dropped to my knees on the concrete and did crunches by leaning backwards over my calves, about a hundred times.  After that they switched to electrocution, so as not to turn me into a cripple.  They were also unleashing this scathing master-slave bullshit routine I wasn't really paying too much attention to... by that time I was trying to do pushups, and old Lester isn't too good with pushups anymore.  The Taser batteries ran out anyway...
I am almost positive it was Allison who said, "Fuck!  Stop!  Just fucking stop!  Let's go inside..."  A couple of people clapped.  A couple of people were muttering about, "Sick motherfuckers."  We moved inside.  Both chicks asked me if I was okay.  And the guy who was shouting all the homosexual S&M stuff especially wanted to know if I was really hurt.  He said, "I did not want to really hurt you.  It's all just a show."  They were especially concerned by my bloodied knees, which have no skin left on them.
Everything went horribly wrong when we went inside.  Like I said, I was extremely altered.  The nice guy was my puke partner from the  Ole Miss pukeathon.  The other guy I did not know.  He said, "Are you ready for round two?"  He grabbed Allison, put a gun to her head, and said, "Now you're going to put that mouth of yours to work or I am going to blow her brains out."  Nothing sexual happened, just to clear the air about that off the bat.  What did happen is a couple of people were closing on the guy with the gun, and I made a mad dash for mine.  People started yelling, "Lester, it's a fake gun.  It's not real."  But I had him at gunpoint before that hit me. 

Doing something like that to an honest-to-God Clemson almost-graduate when he's loaded out of his mind is never a good idea.  But the situation defused instantly when some dickless wonder shouted, "I called the police."  I wound up calling too, right after I sprinted next door and hid the real gun.  I wanted to get my name down as one of the people concerned by what happened, instead of someone who had perpetrated a crime, because that is the truth of it.  As is always the case in these small towns, some of the good kinfolk showed up with their own guns, just at the wrong time, but they all managed to vamoose like the explanations they had thrown together for why they had the guns in the first place.  Everyone else was bailing like rats on a sinking ship.  More than a few people there had shown up with several small balloons of [redacted] and even [redacted], which as we all know carries a huge penalty in this neck of the woods.
I waited to talk to the police.  It was my house.  Somebody had to.  I have no doubt that some of my memories of what happened may be clouded, to the extreme, but, like I said, Allison was there.  I am positive "Mary" was there too.  She's just too frightened out of her wits by what happened to admit it.  I have the injuries.  I have even a slight corroboration from my brain-dead drunken uncle, although any leading question thrown at him will lead him in any direction the questioner desires.
Blissfully the police treated it as no big deal, since everyone they spoke to said, "Yeah, there was somebody with a gun, but he took off."  Also, no shots were fired, except a .22 somebody outside had, which everyone knew did happen, but I played it off as a pellet gun.  They told me to keep the noise down and have a good night, after a good 20 minutes of investigation.  Then all five cop cars in the county went home to some television and good chitlin lovin'.  Can you believe somebody asked me what is in chitterlings the other day?  I told them, "Well, I hope it 's Lady Chitterlings lover, and nothing foul play."

I do not want to glorify it or sound egotistical, so I am not going to discuss this until I have other people to help take credit and/or blame.  But basically I got the shit beat out of me, electrocuted to the point of crisp, and  I didn't make a sound until the last few minutes, and only then because the exercise was too much for me in the condition I am in.  I'm a backwoods soldier.  Yep.  That's right.  

I honestly did not feel any of the strikes to my back or legs or abdomen.  I did feel the pain of the wrecked knees toward the end.  It was not meant to freak people out, although more than a few of the town hens were upset when they heard about it.  "Lester! Lester, when are you gonna get right?" 
The girls did not came back, but I remember that they did.  I had a miniature-massive breakdown when they took off.  I had been waiting to get Mary alone for months and months, you know, to talk, and stuff.  The fact that it all went to shit sort of sent me over the edge.  But one thing about being on [redacted] and [redacted] and [redacted] and [redacted] is that it is very easy to fantasize someone is there, even when they ain't.  Then Sunday night I went to sleep, and Monday morning I knew I had to tell the world:

"Crazy Land:  It's always open, it's just that nobody ever admits they have been there."
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Symbols of Decay is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License..
Related written works at Angelfire, Sex Symbols, Cymbals of Silence.Repent or Die