A big debate is under way, and indeed is fair to admit that it is already really far, far, far away, due to the lines published in the Israeli Tabloid Shlalom dedicated to the famous cross-over tenor, André Bobassi, who is recognized worldwide for his several hits such as I crave for your sweat; I sweat to God; Baby, I sweat to you it’s true; and All you need is sweat.
He is also known to have been born blind. Despite his mother’s attempt to force him into the literary world, encouraged by the hope (and fear as well, because both are inseparable) of raising a future Milton or Borges, the young veiled man was at a young age seduced (though some critics deduct that given his poor musical gifts, to think of a seduction is petty, but not of the possibility that he could have been abused repeatedly, and maybe even humiliated) by the chant of the nine daughters of Zeus; it was this Greek vocalise that determined that music was to be his own Fate and Destiny, and our very Doom.
This is precisely the subject touched and circumcised (and a bit more, according to different sources) by Shlalom‘s Sunday edition:
“… For these reasons and some other ones, we have firm evidence to believe, and then take a step forward and assert that Maestro André Bobassi is not blind. Sources within the music industry have assured this same journalistic Olympus, that his now uncovered fake blindness is nothing but a vile and greedy stratagem perpetrated by his management team, designed and crafted to help overcome and conceal André’s more than poor vocal condition and non-existent technical skills. Once his handicapped condition was installed in the subconscious of the masses, that divine trinity incarnated in those human feelings of compassion, pity and mercy would transform that flock of probable consumers into an easy prey of the capitalist world incarnated, or better said, disguised in those garments of the music industry. Those same lifesaving and maybe instinctive feelings would ultimately be used to make the poor fake-blind-almost-singer succeed; a voiceless fraud that became an all audience romantic extravagant and sweaty product”.
The above-mentioned lines served as an unstoppable inspiration for Professor Christian Rigobund Pyke, head, armpit, leg and Alma pater of the Psychological department of the University of Salamanca, to organize a symposium about Ethics, Journalism and Arts. He is going to be accompanied by Maestro John Pi at the Piano -though he is not supposed to play at all times, unless things become quite unbearable-, and also by a panel of distinguished scientists, artists, footballers, pimps, sweaty priests, speculators, sophists and naturally, the host and moderator of such a breath-taking event, the world famous and celebrated art critic, connoisseur of the operatic world and bon vivant, Mr Jonas Arklingdon.
We now proceed to transcribe the exact content of the symposium. (*)
JA: Hello, and welcome to this live conference about journalism boundaries, blindness, art and marketing. Let me introduce you our wonderful panel of guests here today, whom I deeply thank for joining us for such a marvellous display of human intelligence. Doctor, PhD, and Professor from the Saint Andrews of the Hills University, Mr Dev Grandashenak.
(Professor Pyke is getting up off his seat and approaches the dais. John Pi starts the first notes of Für Elise, as the Alma pater seems to be making some remarks to Mr Jonas about the opening speech. He quietly returns to his pompous armchair, as Pi stops on the fourth bar)
Mr Jonas absorbs the sweat that bathes his forehead and after a hard swallow, re-commences:
JA: Hello Ladies, Gentlemen, and Sweaty ill-fated human beings. I’m now opening our symposium about Ethics, Journalism, Blindness, Art and Marketing. It is my pleasure to introduce you, one by one of course, otherwise it could be terribly painful (a few giggles can be perceived in the lecture room) unless you have a sweaty ugly posterior orifice (now the giggles become a mix of spits, booing and uncontrollable laughs, as Professor Pyke ingests 56 Valiums and John Pi plays Berio’s Sequenza IV at a frenetic speed). In the first place, I extend my gratefulness to all of you here present tonight. Now, without further ado, I shall present the lecturers.
In the blue corner, weighting 350 pounds, with an amazing record of 360 symposiums absorbed by his ears, never defeated in a face to face debate, and never spat a single drop of saliva during a sophistic challenge, the amazing and dialectical Doctor, PhD and Professor from the Saint Andrews of the Hills University, Mr Dev Grandashenak!!!
(John Pi improvises some chords that are supposed to sound something like Eye of the Tiger, from Rocky IV, but his sweaty fingers make his playing extremely difficult and chord sequence impossible to identify).
DG: Hello Jonas.
JA: Hello Professor…is it true that you are a great cook?
DG: Well, that depends mainly on the outside temperature, or if my pants are wet, or if you take a look at my cook just after I left the pool; let me check now (he begins to unfasten his belt).
(John Pi dries his fingers taking advantage of his hairy legs and suggests the melody of Joe Cocker’s You can leave your hat on)
JA: I think you misunderstood me, (raising his voice a little more) is it true that you are a great cook?
DG: Oh! Sorry (he blushes and vomits). Yes, am I.
JA: Sorry to correct you my dear friend, but you should say Yes, I am.
DG: You are wrong! Am I, not you!
JA: Sorry, you seem not to understand my point; when I say I am, I’m simply implying that you are the great cook.
DG: Are you trying to say that you are me, and I am you? Let me check (again, he unfastens his belt and starts to lower his trousers, but the host rapidly saves his from further shame)
(John Pi attempts to play a chord, but his hands slip from the keyboard and his front teeth play their firsts and lasts two notes of their lives; he bleeds profusely as the white keyboard becomes red)
JA: There’s no need to perform a trouser-less debate my dear friend…
DG: So, if you are me, who the hell I am?
JA: It’s I am for fuck’s sake! It’s fairly simple: you are Professor, PhD, etc., etc., Dev Grandashenak, and I am Jonas.
DG: OK, but if you want to be me, at least give me -you- your name and that wonderful tie you -am I- are wearing (for those readers who might ignore the kind of tie Jonas is wearing, it’s a silk violet one, bought in Cartier, and by the way matches those mystical green eyes of his).
JA: No, please Doctor, I would not even pretend to be such a genius as you are.
DG: Who is the genius here, you, am I, you are, are you, or I am?
JA: You are, Professor, of course, you are. Am I right? (He asks the audience)
(Audience roars a huge affirmative chant in D major, while pianist John Pi tries some sweat wrist bands on and biting a cotton cloud in order to stop the profuse bloody tears his gums are producing after bidding farewell to those couple of deceased white keys, called teeth).
DG: OK then, are you!
JA: No professor, you are!
DG: Oh, I see now (epiphany face as Händel’s Hallelujah is suggested by Pi’s piano). I am! Thanks for the compliment Jonas. You are a wonderful critic as well.
JA: I feel really flattered dearest Dev. (he seems to be indeed very fond of Grandashenak).
Third unannounced and quite anxious panellist: ‘Please, could you carry on with the symposium please?’
JA: Are you jealous, you sweaty bitch?
(John Pi went to the pharmacy to get more Valium for Professor Pyke, who has just ran out of it, leaving a trace of sweat and blood on his way out)
Third unannounced panellist again, even more anxious than before: ‘come on! How can you imply such a thing? He is not my type at all!’
JA (after receiving serial warnings from a Valium infested Professor Pyke): Sorry beloved audience, we continue thus, presenting our next guest. She is a wonderful pedagogue, philosopher and visiting professor at the Ontario College of Advanced Religious and Philosophical Studies. Please welcome Professor Julia Huthensrothengerber.
JH: Hello Jonas. Love your tie.
(Possibly because Julia Huthensrothengerber is actually the most influential scholar and the most chic intellectual erudite of the religious scholastic scene, some members of the audience appear to be confused whether they would physically love their ties, or only in a platonic manner. I can spot some men trying to squeeze their silky ties under their pants; from where I sit, cannot be precise whether they try to rub them against their masculine tool, or to insert the garment where it’s not supposed to be wore. Others start to lick them, and they attempt to share their ties with other men’s wives. All different types of orgies are taking place, but I can also see that a group is just self-pleasuring themselves as they admire their neckties. The Plato adepts simply compose odes and poems for those admired and beloved ideal forms that mortals call ties, which are placed over silky cushions, as they chant their way around John Pi’s piano, who, by a stroke of luck, is wearing a dinner jacket. Mayhem of ethereal and explicit love manifestations inundate the classroom for some passionate minutes. The stench of sweat and its vapours can be felt in the air; also some dairy perfume can be smelt)
Things start to calm down, after the Alma pater of such a symposium triggered his Magnum .45, whilst attempting to swallow a mouthful of Valiums.
JA: Come again please? (Still quite altered and distracted by the previous quarrel, he uses his tie to dry his damp forehead)
JH: I’m afraid nature has imposed over my physical body some other limits besides my sweaty bottom. I’m not multi-orgasmic.
(General mocking laugh, whilst some exhausted lovers are smoking with their ties around their heads and some pizza delivery men carry vast boxes of pizzas around the cloister; some ties are being as well dispatched in taxis to unknown destinations)
Doctor Dev approaches Professor Julia Huthensrothengerber’s seat and comforts her. Then he speaks:
DG: That’s not something to be afraid of, darling. Let me show you how it’s supposed to be done…(he desperately tries to unbutton his pair of trousers, forgetting his belt strangles his greasy fat abdomen. Some security personnel force some Valiums down his throat, and slap him in the face. Now he seems to be calmed down, sitting on his place as he buttons up his fly)
JA (who by the way seems to be a nerve-wreck, his attempts to dry his sweaty cascade is useless; his tie is already soaking wet and unsuitable to prevent the salty rain from burning his eyes): And finally, our last guest for today, the emeritus Bishop of Angsburg Johann von Gettrewerktschiterassden. Thank you father for coming.
JvG: Holy Ghost! Can you tell? I thought the stain was unnoticeable! It’s Shakespeare again!
JA: That’s not what I mean Father! I was only thanking you for attending the symposium, of course.
JvG: I’m not your father at all! That can’t be possible. I swear to God that I did use a condom and then fed my cat with what was left in it!
JA: Pardon me, but I was not implying any sort of blood bound, only a figurative way of calling you a spiritual father.
JvG: Well, but I have never met you, so I could have had no influence on you!
JA: Sorry father, but I don’t mean that for real. It’s just a respectful way of addressing you.
JvG: I see. But let me inform both you and the audience, that you are expected to call me your Excellency, or Bishop von Gettrewerktschiterassden at least!
JA: Sorry not father, but Your Excellency. Moving on towards what’s important and the reason why we are here tonight, I’ll just expose the questions that have inspired this meeting right now.
Is Andre Bobassi really blind? Is it possible not to be born blind, and then, by a marketing manoeuvre become so? Is it humanly possible? Is that the so-called divine trilogy, incarnated into pity, mercy and compassion, capable of destroying the true and transcendent artistic perception? Is it accepted by the eye of the Church? How many eyes do the Church have? Can the Church be blind? (2)
Mr Dev Grandashenak: As a man of science, I will begin by naming some of the different possibilities that should be considered:
•He was born blind
•He became blind due to accident or health failure
•He was born blind, because his immortal soul knew beforehand, that his voice was not going to be fit for such operatic endeavours; reason why his wise anima, let’s say, chose to be born blind in order to learn and succeed, thus overcoming all limitations
•He was fond of Stevie Wonder and José Feliciano, so in wanting to be like them, deprived himself from his visual sense through the all conquering power of desire and emotional greed
•His marketing agency, perpetrating a macabre plan, inflicted that deficiency only because of greed
•He… (Interrupted by moderator)
JA: Thank you, Professor. We perfectly see your point, and we are really happy to be able to see it (as he winks towards the audience, how laughs hysterically). So, what do the rest of you think?
(Professor Grandashenak exits the conference quite upset, still trying to loosen his belt, but because he is so focused on finally getting rid of his trousers, fails to notice the sweaty-bloody stain produced by John Pi, and fatally slips, breaking his neck)
JH: Fake. He sings horribly and his blindness is nothing but a charade to move his audience into a mayhem of pity and greedy sympathy; the motto that every salesman knows: If you cannot sell through word and charm, resort to the long arms of pity.
JvG: I can’t think of the human race in those despicable terms. I’m sure he embraced his fate in a heroic way, thus inspiring the rest of us, mere mortals, to drink from the unending fountains of hope and greed.
JA: Come again Excellency?
Jvg: Later darling, when we are alone. Naughty Jonas. (He blows a kiss directed at the moderator)
(At this very moment, John Pi imitates the sound of a sexy sounding Sax with his lips, as he improvises some porn chords on the keyboard, that appears to be floating due to the vast amounts of sweat that the moderator is exuding, mixed with some sticky remains from the orgiastic tie feast)
JA (visibly ashamed and almost drowning in his own sweat): Well, let me read to you all, a letter from his management headquarters in Zürich that has been faxed to us some minutes ago. It reads:
(An unknown gentleman from the audience insists in knowing precisely how many minutes ago did the fax arrive. He is forced to swallow some Valium pills as he shouts about his right to know the precise figure)
JA continues his reading:
JA: But, on the other hand, I have another letter from his Fan club that says:
(Interrupted again by the another unknown gentleman of the audience)
Unknown Gentleman: You don’t have that Fan club letter in your other hand. How many hands you’ve got mate? You got the fax on your left, and your right hand is holding that big… (At that moment, a member of the security guard knocks the unknown-not-so-gentleman down, and leaves a tablet of Valium by his side; John Pi accompanies the brutality with some Nino Rota’s tunes)
Again, almost dehydrated and with his three piece suit soaked in sweat, Mr Jonas Arklingdon continues:
“How can anyone imagine or simply consider that such a reprehensible scheme could be perpetrated in order to sell 189.546.546.135.465.795,8 albums? It is outrageous!”
Nevertheless, the best testimony by far (again, interrupted by a man who claims is related to the knocked down not-so-gentleman-and-Valium-intoxicated chap)
Unknown Gentleman II: How far?
JA: As far as a chicken can travel without the weight of three eggs in her interior.
(The answer appears to somehow have puzzled the now silent and calculating questioner)
As I was saying, the best testimony, naturally, is that from the artist himself. Yes, André Bobassi wrote a letter that appeared today in the early edition of The New York Hourglass. The only problem that was encountered by the editorial staff of the prestigious newspaper was if to publish or not what was supposed to be a letter (thus named after the envelope that contained it); the handwriting was very poor, almost illegible, as if it had been written by, indeed, a blind man. They decided to contact the singer himself, who after being talked into the advantages of publishing a letter that could be read and understood, decided to dictate another one to his personal assistant and secretary:
“I’m destroyed. In these times, where conspiracy theories are the crème de la crème, I’m decided to fight for my honour and artistic integrity. I’m not a fake or self-inflicted blind man. I assure you that my life is a torture. I am one of wealthiest men alive, yet not able to see, watch and enjoy through my eyes all that money can buy; not to be able to savour the massive profits that you, dear fans, make me earn. Torturous.
“You might say that I should be able to enjoy trips. Impossible. A horrible waste of time. Pyramids are being described to me as if I could somehow imagine what the fuck are they talking about; they even try to make some replicas, pretending those great Egyptians once were dwarfs, so I can feel them with my own hands; but still, I am not amazed to sense a sand castle done by a dexterous little kid. The hanging gardens of Babylon, whose depictions I cannot understand even in Braille. The Chinese wall; the Fuji volcano, home of the immortal Koji Kabuto; they are nothing but words from a soulless tourist guide who only wants my money, and probably my girls. Though true it is, beloved reader, respected detractor: exceedingly difficult proved to be the finding of the system that allows me, once and for all, to know if my feminine entourage is at its ripe point, be it for not breaking the law, be it for not swimming in Oedipal waters; the monthly reddish tasting is infallible. Now, going back to the travel issues: Breath-taking dawns are being narrated to me from the luxurious balconies of the world’s most exclusive Hotels, and I can’t see shit. The hottest babes die for me (of course, not in a Shakespearean way), and I can barely imagine what a breast might look like. I’m always being admired for my cars, in which I’m usually driven around, but I’ve got no fucking clue what you are talking about mate! I can only feel that something is moving, and the same voice that asks: Come stai André?’
“I can only talk in favour of food, something that really turns me on, in all the possible ways you can imagine; and yes, food makes me also die in that Shakespearean way as well. It adds some texture and taste of my liking. The only negative side to it is that sometimes, every now and then, some son of a crazy vicious bitch puts a bug in my dish; I suspect Stevie might be to blame. Usually, it’s too late when I realize that what I’m about to swallow, is not penne al pesto.
“So, dear detractors, dearest fans: don’t envy me, don’t haunt me; the capitalist world is made for those who can see, and I can’t see shit. My only hope lies in finding Pinocchio, for He is the chosen one, and will surely be keen to help me. O my wooden Messiah, I am your Bartimaeus!
“With my heart. André Bobassi”.
JA: Shame is what made all the experts abandon the premises, and left me all alone, sweaty and in tears. In fact, I can’t say if it’s the sweat that’s flooding my eyes, or emotional tears that were inspired by such a profound statement.
(A postman rapidly enters the scene, trying not to be tempted by the enormous quantities of Valium floating about, and swims towards the atrium and carefully handles Mr Jonas Arklingdon a telegram. Later realizing that he is swimming in sweat, the postman starts vomiting and dies because of it)
JA (spitting sweat since it’s starting to enter his mouth as his breathing is becoming more spacious given the amount of mucus accumulated in the nose area): But, I have some breaking news to share. A cable just arrived, and the Rottersburgers Tageblatt is planning to publish in its very late night edition, the following news:
(Almost panting and about to faint, trying to cling himself to the atrium, as the rest of the audience struggles to keep afloat. I can barely hear the aquatic music that John Pi is attempting)
“The famous perhaps blind nor pop, nor operatic tenor, philanthropist and former swimming pool cleaner André Bobassi, could have donated his entire fortune estimated in 7.9 trillion Euros to a mysterious foundation whose secret and infamous objective would be that of driving all the blind millionaires of the world into bankruptcy. The façade is perfect and commendable, but the real intentions are not so pure. All the funds collected are deposited in a secret bank account at a secret bank in a top-secret island that lies between two other ultra-secret islands. Once the information is exposed, the secret becomes bigger and turns out to be an ultra-super-infinite secret. As far as we know, there could be approximately 3.7 billions of secretive levels that separate us from the main question: What happens with all the money that comes from the former billionaires? An inside informer is able to confirm that the foundation’s motto is to free all the blind humans from the flagellum of also being millionaires or billionaires. The name of such an institution is, due to its super-duper secretive status, rumoured to be Happy but Poor Blind Fellows, and his honorary president, the unscrupulous not-so-blind and former Stevie Wonder’s tour manager, Mr Slavos Miroslav Espinoza, who was born in Hungary but later adopted the Ecuadorian nationality simply because he wanted to. Others say it was his love for bananas and Delfín Quishpe’s music that motivated him to adopt the condored (3) South American flag. Espinoza recently pointed out in a secret interview given to a secret reporter who works for a secret magazine that to be blind and millionaire or billionaire, is like being punished with a penalty and a red card for the same foul; we all know that suffering a double punishment for a single deed is not fair. It’s against common sense!
(About to die, pale and almost without pulse, floating about the atrium, continues with the last remaining air that his lungs will ever taste)
JA: André Bobassi’s whereabouts are a mystery, but some rumours indicate that he might be living a thundery and passionate romance with Pinocchio; whereas other gossip whisperers assert that they are only friends, thus together attempting to give light to a certain social movement that, according to ultra-top-mighty-super-duper-tupper-moped-exclusive sources, will shake and burn the world down to resurrective ashes. The latest set of rumours indicates that the last couple of rumours are rubbish, and that this whole symposium and pseudo-humorous account is not funny at all. But what we do know for certain is that the lovely (now doubtful or suspected) couple might also be considering to build an extra bedroom in their simple cottage, with a complex fire alarm system, located in the suburbs of Lyon (1). But the question still remains unanswered: is this only a rumour, a part of an untold gossip, or simply a mere unrealised possibility floating about the waters of infinite probabilities?
After pronouncing the word probabilities, though it really sounded like lfndfdjdfhkdfjsties, Mr Jonas Arklingdon died of dehydration, paradoxically, floating in his own sweat.
Moments after, Professor Christian Rigobund Pyke, revealing a super-human resistance to Valium, broke wind and ate a ripe Banana as he left the sweating-pool-room leaving behind him some nasty bubbles. He and Maestro Pi used the piano as a lifesaving-floating device.
The man that served as observer, that is, commenting all those words between (), died as well, as every remaining person of the audience, due to the toxic smell provided by such a mixture of both non-sticky and sticky liquids.
The two front teeth of Maestro Pi are still to be found.
(*) For a better understanding and appreciation of what now has entered the annals of scholastic history, we suggest that the symposium ought to be read out loud, if possible in the key of G Major.
(1) Some claim to have seen the former superstar singer, walking without any aid whatsoever, and jumping happily on the streets. On the other hand (the right one) we have those that are sure to have seen the in-love André, wearing dark glasses, during a grey and typical English day. Other’s claim that the stone baked pizza is the best.
(2) Carrying that question further, is it possible to imagine that this lack of vision by the Church is the cause of so much fondling of innocent children?
(3) The flag of Ecuador features the splendorous presence of this carnivorous bird.