(Originally published in SALON: A Journal of Aesthetics)
Are you in need of someone to convince you that things are awful and will only degenerate; that people basically suck and many are even worse than that; and that you personally are a complete asshole? Are you looking for validation of your feelings of paranoia, xenophobia, misogyny, and worthlessness? L.A. Rollins, Master of Anti-therapy, is the man to see.
This little book is not for the faint-hearted. Here is a writer who doesn’t mind being accused of bad taste, or worry a single bit about political correctness. He defines AIDS as “God’s punishment for queers, junkies and Haitians, all of whom have undoubtedly aroused His wrath.”
“If you think this book is offensive now, you should have seen it before it was edited.” Ha!
Rollins is somewhat like P.J. O’Rourke’s evil twin, or maybe the intellectual’s Andrew Dice Clay. (He has a degree in philosophy.) He doesn’t care whom he offends.
Although many of the Americans with whom he is in philosophical agreement on other subjects are churchly types, Rollins doesn’t spare them either, defining the born-again Christian as “one who has been brainwashed in the blood of the Lamb.”
Lucifer’s Lexicon is uneven in quality and the heavy-handedness often threatens to sink the humor. Between snippets of barbed wit are lengthy discussions of the philosophies of Ayn Rand and Adolf Hitler and, for some reason, pages of quotes from Rabbi Meir Kahane.
We learn here that Canada bans such works as Hoax of the Twentieth Century and Jewish-Run Concentration Camps in the Soviet Union along with epics like Voodoo Rape Orgy and Gangbanged Girl Scouts. It’s an interesting list, though (as is so often the case with this author) one is left not quite sure what point it is he intends to make.
Rollins, who is definitely on the fringe of something or other, says very unkind words about Hugh Hefner, so feminists should like him – but on the other hand he’s absolutely awful about Andrea Dworkin. His satires sometimes hit the mark squarely, like the list of rock group names: Pink Freud, The Distilled Essence of Pessimism, The Latter-Day Sinners, the Velvet Underwear. My favorite definition is the one for speleotherapy.- get the book and look it up.