Genesis Breyer P-Orridge for PresidentWritten by Jesse Sposato
Photos by Jason Rodgers
Makeup by Maura Bess McGill
Hair by Liam Carey
If I understood write-in votes better (I plan on looking into them), I would totally elect Genesis Breyer P-Orridge for this year’s coming presidential election. Not because s/he wants to be the president necessarily—I’m sure s/he doesn’t; s/he’s already got a million things going on as is—but I can honestly say that I am positive Genesis would make a badass pres. I know that statement carries a lot of weight, but after spending several afternoons with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, which includes Lady Jaye, h/er wife who dropped her body in 2007 but is very much still here and in fact a part of Genesis h/erself, literally, (more on that in a second), I’m sure s/he’d be a shoo-in.
People throw the term “born leader” around all the time, but Genesis is exactly that and more. S/he is way ahead of h/er time, a forward thinker whose ideas about transformation and gender and art might be the only thing I have faith in right now to save the world, to actually create real change. Genesis, who was born and raised a handsome Neil Andrew Megson, never fit the role of “traditional male.” But in 2003, s/he and Jaye went public with their pandrogeny project (they had been moving toward it for a while), an effort to become one unified being called Breyer P-Orridge, by way of plastic surgery, beauty spots tattooed and removed, and a shared wardrobe. The desire to morph into one unit was first done in the name of true love, and later in an attempt to break down the core of our patriarchal society by creating a “third entity” that is neither female nor male, but rather both. (Does anyone remember the amazing nineties band the Third Sex? Kind of a similar vibe going on there.)
Before there was Breyer P-Orridge, Gen was known for all kinds of other amazing projects and bands, probably most or at least some of which you’ve heard of. S/he put industrial music on the map—coining the term and all—with Throbbing Gristle in the mid seventies (which actually grew out of the art collective COUM Transmissions), then moved on to the experimental band Psychic TV, my personal fav of h/er musical projects, in the early eighties; and the late nineties brought Thee Majesty. From members of PTV and others, with Genesis at the forefront, Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth or TOPY—a community of bohemians who believed in magic and psychic aspects of the mind—was born in the early eighties. After a decade or so Gen terminated TOPY but not before writing the group’s manifesto Thee Psychick Bible. More recently, s/he’s created One True Topi Tribe, which is kind of the new and improved, all-inclusive present-day TOPY. Gen writes on h/er Web site: “TOP-I is ALL of YOU and has no “Membership.”
We could honestly say we’ve met amazing people; we’ve worked with Timothy Leary and Burroughs and Brion Gysin and all these people. But Lady Jaye was the most incredible of them all—the most influential and the most unusual, so damned if we’re gonna let them forget. Fuck ’em!
Jesse: You were rewarded a lot of money from Rick Rubin in a lawsuit after escaping from a fire that took place at his house. Do you think the surgeries and Breyer P-Orridge and everything would have happened without that settlement?
Genesis: No, no way. We never would have had the money. But—this is just as a matter of education for anyone who reads this—we were awarded $1.6 million, so for about one and a half seconds, me and Jaye were millionaires. But to fight the case, because the insurance company decided to fight for who knows what reason, we had to borrow a quarter of a million. And the way it works, if you borrow this money off these particular companies, if you lose, you don’t have to pay them back. But if you win, you pay them double.
Jesse: Oh my god!
Genesis: So that means they got half a million straightaway.
Genesis: Then, the $120,000 for the hospital bill . . . and then three years of my lawyer’s fees, at God knows what, like $200 an hour, and then all the expert witnesses and the flights back and forth and the hotels—there goes another $300, $400 thousand. So, it basically ended up that me and Jaye got less than $500,000—we got about $480,000—which was still great for us. We saw it as luxury money because we never expected it. And that’s when we thought, “Well, now we can actually do something fabulous with this! It’s like, we’ve won the artistic lottery. We can do anything.” So, we bought the house in Ridgewood—cheap—and then we started on the project. And we never had to work again.
Jesse: That’s awesome.
Genesis: Yeah, it was good.
Jesse: What other things did you think about doing with that money?
Genesis: What we wanted to do, if Jaye was still here, [what] we were planning to do, because she was a registered nurse, she was going to go back to college to become a nurse practitioner. And then we wanted to start a special clinic in Kathmandu, sell the house and everything and retrieve the extra money, and do a special clinic for mothers and new babies in Kathmandu because that was Jaye’s speciality. [We would] teach them about hygiene and how to breastfeed and how to keep the babies from getting sick, and all that kind of stuff. And we would have been able to get help from the World Health Organization, as well. So, that was the next step, to sort of retire from the public eye. And do good work. We still want to do something like that in her name. . . .
Jesse: You have two daughters from your first marriage. What did they think of your pandrogeny, or what do they think of it?
Genesis: Yeah. We were wondering what would happen, but you have to remember that, for example, the oldest one, Caresse, . . . she was carried on stage by William S. Burroughs when she was six weeks old, and blessed in front of an audience. . . . Timothy Leary had four god daughters—Uma Thurman, Winona Ryder, and my two daughters. So, they’ve grown up in a very unorthodox version of our culture. They’ve never had any inhibitions about people being gay or straight or tranny or whatever. It was never really a matter of discussion, but the first thing that Genesse said, the youngest one, was, “You mean, you spent all that money on getting tits? You could have bought me a new car!” And that was basically the only time they referred to it. But when they introduce me to their friends, they don’t say, “Can you dress like a man?” They just introduce me as their papa; they call me papa. When Throbbing Gristle played in San Francisco [a few years ago] Genesse brought her boyfriend and all of her friends and was really excited to bring them backstage and introduce them to her papa wearing a miniskirt. Didn’t bat an eyelid.
Jesse: That’s cute. . . .
Genesis: The younger one, Genesse, said she went to [her friend’s] house and her friend’s brother was a big fan of Psychic TV and was saying, “What’s it like having Genesis Breyer P-Orridge as your father? What could that be like?” And she goes, “My papa’s wonderful, and I love him.” And that was it. So, we did something right. We just took them everywhere. We never, ever left them behind. We took them on tour, to Thailand, to the jungle, to Burma, to Nepal. They did soup kitchens for lepers and refugees.
Jesse: That’s pretty amazing.
Genesis: So, they’ve got a . . . wide-ranging view of what the world is really like. They’ve seen true poverty and they’ve seen true illness. And they’ve met really interesting people. They’ve been lucky. I mean, it’s the education we would have liked. That’s how we did it, “What would we [have] liked?” We would have liked to [have] gone along, so that’s [what we did]. . . .
Jesse: When you reference yourself in articles, obviously you say “we,” . . . so is we . . .
Genesis: That’s me and Jaye. That’s the combination of the two of us.
Jesse: That’s what I was hoping you were going to say. That’s great.
Genesis: Yeah. So, we’ve been training ourselves. We don’t get it right all the time. But we’ve been training ourselves to say “we” for, not just romantic reasons, but also we’ve noticed how quickly people try to marginalize women. They wanted to go back to just calling me Genesis P-Orridge and not mentioning Lady Jaye at all, a lot of journalists and so on, and so as a sort of statement against that censorship, [the dismissal] of the women’s role and everything, we stress it even more. We’ve realized that it’s really important, that people would love to just bury the fact that she was equally as involved as me.
Genesis: Well, because they’ve heard of me longer, and it’s easier to just do the story about me.
Jesse: She was pretty badass before you guys met.
Genesis: Absolutely. But they don’t bother to find out, you know? I mean, we could honestly say we’ve met amazing people; we’ve worked with Timothy Leary and Burroughs and [Brion] Gysin and all these people. But Lady Jaye was the most incredible of them all—the most influential and the most unusual, so damned if we’re gonna let them forget. Fuck ’em! . . .
Jesse: I love it. How has your sense of beauty altered since the creation of Breyer P-Orridge; and when you and Lady Jaye were sort of morphing yourselves together, did you worry at all about whether you had become less beautiful than you already were?
Genesis: Well, the second bit is the easiest because we remember when we were getting the cheek implants, looking in the mirror the night before and thinking, “We have no argument with the face we’ve got, but fuck it, what does it matter what it looks like?” It’s irrelevant. The project is more important, and we really didn’t care. . . . But people get confused [about things like] switching gender and being exactly like each other, like identical twins, but we let go of that idea a long time ago. As we got deeper into it, it just became more and more about, “Can the human body really evolve?” And evolution, that the human body’s not sacred, that one of the great problems of our planet is that people think the human body: a. is a finished thing, and b. that it’s sacred. And that’s probably going to destroy us, that one idea. So, that’s why we think it’s so critical to focus on the evolutional aspects of [the project]. . . .
Jesse: Marie Losier made a documentary about the Breyer P-Orridge love story, The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, that opened in US cities earlier this year (and that will be released on DVD in the fall). What’s your favorite part?
Genesis: Well, it was 2003 that we first very publicly announced that the pandrogeny project was going to steam ahead into every and any nook and cranny we could think of, and that was the year we got the breast implants too. And Jaye said, “You know, what we really need is someone to just film us all the time, like Andy Warhol or someone, just following us around documenting it all.” And at that time, through a mutual friend we met Marie. She and Jaye hit it off straightaway, and we invited her over to sort of visit us, and threw this idea at her, and she said, “That would be wonderful.” She [had] just finished a film about Tony Conrad, which we saw and thought was really amazing. Have you seen that one?
Jesse: No, but I know what you’re talking about.
Genesis: It’s really, really good. She does all this stuff—it’s partly like Fellini and then there are these animated parts that are like the Lumière Brothers in the early animation days. So, she does all kinds of interesting segues instead of just talking heads, and we said, “Will you do that?” So she came on tour with Psychic TV, did a whole European tour, and we gave her 100 percent access to everything. She could stay with us in our hotel rooms, and she could film us in the bath, anything. She had 100 percent access.
Jesse: That’s awesome!
Genesis: And also to our archives, as well. She had no idea [it would take so long to make the film]. And of course none of us had any idea at that point that Jaye would be passing onto another realm halfway through. Which did make it awkward. . . . Jaye did obviously a lot of film for the documentary, [but] not that much talking to the camera about things. So, that meant that Marie had to really scrape around and contact dozens of people all over the world and get hold of things and see if they fit. She must have had a thousand hours of stuff to look at, which is an incredible amount.
Jesse: I can’t imagine.
Genesis: And, of course, she also did film interviews with a lot of people we know, maybe for what they said rather than just their face talking. Most of her film—it’s a voiceover all the way through—the voice doesn’t go with what people are saying most of the time. But [she didn’t use] any of those in the end. When she came to edit it, she said the only way to do this film was for it to just be the love story. And other people were talking about how they met us, or just about the music aspects, or whichever aspects of what we do they connected with, maybe art or whatever, but not so much just about how they viewed us being together and the whole project. So, she dropped all the interviews and decided that it would just be me and Jaye and Big Boy the dog. . . . The last shot is me crying, without giving too much away. But it’s beautiful; it’s amazing. It’s a complete work of love in every way. . . .
She did some wonderful parts; what would be a favorite part? Well, it sounds very narcissistic, but my favorite part is Lady Jaye talking, and she’s been asked, “Is she happy, and what is happiness?” And she just looks at the camera and says that she’s already got every possible kind of happiness with me.
Jesse: That’s really sweet.
Genesis: And it’s hard to watch. And the other bit, she’s looking through the camera, it’s a bit that we filmed, and she says, “Oh, you’re so cute! I love you so much,” and then she runs up and kisses the camera lens.
Jesse: Oh my god, that’s so cute [bawls].
Genesis: Yeah, it’s tough. That’s what we mean, it was hard. It’s amazing though. I’ve never seen a documentary like it. And everybody says, “It really does just show how much we loved each other.” It’s hard too, cuz the other two stars are dead.
Jesse: The dog!
Genesis: The dog, as well. It fucking sucks. . . . So, those are two favorite bits, and all the bits where Marie has me wearing ridiculous outfits. . . .
Jesse: Can you talk a little bit more about Viva La Evolucion?
Genesis: Did you see it when you came in? [referring to this piece of artwork]
Jesse: No, I didn’t even see it. Should we go look now?
Genesis: Yeah! Mine as well, while we’re here. She’s guarding the apartment.
Jesse: Oh, I love it. She is kind of guarding the apartment.
Genesis: It just looked like the right place to put it. . . . Let’s see how we can explain [Viva La Evolucion] relatively briefly. As you know, the pandrogeny project began with me and Jaye just wanting to look like each other as the first statement.
Genesis: And for that to express loving each other in a way we did more than anything else. That was how it all began. And then we sort of, we started thinking about it in terms of cut-ups.
Jesse: Yeah, Brion Gysin, like that kind of thing.
Genesis: Yeah, Brion Gysin. And that made us think about the way that human beings are because we looked at this, although it’s not about gender, we noticed people were thinking about gender, and it’s obviously related in a way. And we were thinking about masculinity too—we didn’t want a binary world anymore. The binary world, we’ve had for tens of thousand of years, and it’s failed miserably. And we’ve had a basically patriarchal system everywhere for that same amount of time. And all we’ve had is war and destruction and violence and unnecessary misery. The human species has just wallowed in cruelty. Not constantly, and not everyone, but too much. So, it’s failed. Anyone who thinks it hasn’t failed is just lying to themselves, or they have a vested interest in power.
So, we were looking at that and thinking, “OK, if we’re thinking of the hermaphrodite, the pandrogyne, as an evolutionary step, then the cut-ups were part of that process. And that made us think about DNA, because with Burroughs, he said the cut-ups with writing and so on were ways to short circuit control and reveal how people are controlled with language mainly, and we thought, “Well, if you do cut-ups with the body and identity, maybe you can reveal why people behave how they do, and what way could people’s behavior change, what could possibly be done to have human beings behave differently?” There’s this basic genetic pattern, which is from pre-historic times: if there’s something different, if there’s something unknown out there that might threaten the clan, then you attack it and kill it. . . . And that basic model carries on to this day on a much higher scale at the moment. It’s Muslim and pseudo-Christian; the posturing is exactly the same.
So, there is a sort of mainly male-oriented gene or genetic behavior pattern, which has failed us. It was useful to survive at the beginning, but it’s now destroying us. And so it became linked to DNA, the idea of being able to go inside the genetic program and actually either surgically remove the gene, or look for ways to break behavior so that people are able to change. And we wondered how that could be done, and obviously changing identity and breaking people’s expectations of gender and identity would be one way to do that. And so we linked DNA and control and the extreme power of the male in all these societies . . . So, the [point] of Viva La Evolucion is saying, “We do need, as a species, to evolve.” And in our opinion, it would be better to have everybody be pandrogynes and eventually be male and female, and we’d just remove the “either/or” altogether. At least symbolically we believe that, but actually literally we would like [that] too.
Jesse: Yeah, totally.
Genesis: It would be much harder for men to be running around with knives and swords and guns if they were making babies, as well, and nurturing children. Because the nurturing is what’s missed by most men. I mean, for me personally, apart from all the other aspects of pandrogeny, we also see it as withdrawing from the male of the species, saying, “We refuse to be part of that. We will not be part of your society, your male society.”
It’s the easiest path if you surrender to it, to just living out all the dreams and fantasies and aspirations that you have, but it comes at a price of also having to accept everything that happens around that and through that. If you live intensely, intense things happen.
Jesse: Love it! . . . Having experienced, being a man and being a woman, what do you [want to be]. . .
Genesis: Perceived as; it wouldn’t be fair to women to say that we’ve been a woman because we’ve never had to go through menstruation, to start, and that’s obviously a huge, huge part of being female.
Jesse: It is, yeah, definitely. But you refer to yourself as a woman, right?
Genesis: We use s/he with a slash. It’s easier to traverse and navigate this society letting people perceive me as a woman. Because they do anyway. We go in shops, and we go in restaurants, and they just say, “Yes, ladies, can I help you?” and so on. And so we started doing that even before we had breasts. It got so that Jaye said, “Oh, this is ridiculous having to explain that you’re actually not a woman all the time.” And we were buying some clothes in a department store and the assistant was ushering me into the ladies changing room, and we whispered to Jaye, “Should we tell her? What should we do?” And she said, “No, fuck it! Just come in with me.” So, from then on, we just decided that that would be it, and we’d use the ladies toilets and the ladies changing rooms because it was simple. No one was bothered. No one thought anything strange was happening, whereas there was conflict otherwise.
For example, not long before that, we’d been at JFK Airport, and it’s true, we had a little bit of eye makeup on, but that was all. We were wearing jeans and we went to pee in the men’s toilet, and this security guard saw me walking in and grabbed me and stopped me and said, “Miss, miss, that’s the men’s toilet! You’ve got to go in the ladies.” And we looked at him and said, “No, this is the right toilet.” And he goes, “No, no, no, you’ve got to go in the women’s toilet,” and then he called a cop and they threatened to arrest me for trying to use the men’s toilet.
Jesse: Oh my god!
Genesis: And Jaye, of course, was killing herself laughing at this, and to be honest, we were phrasing it so it was ambiguous just to wind them up, but they insisted with a police escort that we go in the ladies toilet. Which at that time was still illegal—transgender people were fighting to get the right to use women’s toilets, if they identified as female. But that’s changed now, and you can use the appropriate toilet.
Did you hear about when we were doing a tour of America, and we got to Phoenix? We were on the tour bus on the way [to the show], and we got these emails from transgender and gay activists saying, “Please don’t play at this club because the owners have banned all transgender people from using the women’s toilet, and they’re even putting security guards on the toilets to make sure that no one who’s a drag queen or transgender uses the ‘wrong’ one.” So they boycotted the club, and they quite rightly said, “Where are you going to pee?” And, “Can you really go on stage saying that you want the world to change when you’re in a club where they’re being really conservative? So we contacted the club by phone and said, “What’s going on?” And the owner was very polite, but he did admit that someone had gone in the ladies toilet, and they looked under the doors and saw someone who was obviously standing to pee. So, they must have looked underneath and seen the shoes facing the wrong way.
Jesse: First of all, that’s creepy.
Genesis: Yeah, exactly. And for that alone he had brought in this rule that they would not be allowed to use those toilets anymore, and we thought, “Well, who’s gonna check? Are they gonna have someone lifting everyone’s skirt? What are they gonna do?” But then he said, “But don’t worry. We’re going to allow you to use my private bathroom.” And we said, “No, no. It’s either everyone in whichever toilet, or no, we’re not gonna play there.” So then it got moved to another venue in Phoenix in a shopping mall, and we were actually about to soundcheck when the owner came up and said, “I’m really, really sorry, but the owners of the shopping mall, the whole building, have rung me up and said, “If we allow you to play, they’ll take away our lease.”
Jesse: Oh. My. God. Why?
Genesis: They were born-again Christians and Republicans, and they wanted to make it into a big deal. Their excuse was that they were scared that there was going to be a protest and a riot by transsexuals. And we said, “Well, why would they [be protesting] when they’re being allowed in? What would they even be protesting?” So, we now had gone through two venues, and it was 8:00 at night, and there are all these people who had bought tickets, and we got offered to play in a biker bar in some obscure suburb on the edge of town, a real dive. . . . So we left; some people volunteered to tell everybody where it was, and it turned out to be a red full moon . . . [the kind that] happens only once every ten years or fifteen years—that was the night that this happened.
So, we played and, of course, it was packed. And there were loads of trannies; there were drag queens dressed as nuns in wheelchairs, and real paraplegics; it was great. And it got so hot. In the end, we just took off our top and everyone cheered, and then we said, “Come on everybody, it’s hot. Everybody go topless!” So, like, 50 percent or more of the audience and all of the band took their tops off. And then transsexual women, boys, girls were on stage dancing topless with me, and it was wild! Then we all took mushrooms and everybody sat in a big circle by the tour bus and watched this pink moon. It was fabulous.
Jesse: That sounds so amazing and dreamy, so much better than playing that weird shopping mall.
Genesis: Oh, yeah. But, I’m not sure how many bands would have made that much effort to play. Even the fans said, “If you don’t want to play, we understand.” And we said, “No. We’re gonna play somewhere even if it’s in the street.”
Jesse: Yeah, it’s the principal at that point.
Genesis: Yeah, just to prove that they can’t shut us up. . . .
Jesse: Did becoming more feminine bring to light anything you felt like you couldn’t have understood before? I mean, of course, it must have. How did it change your perception of things, and also [how did becoming more feminine change] the way you were perceived?
Genesis: Well, it made a lot of people who thought they were fans angry, of course, but not as many as you would expect. . . . The weirdest thing was, gosh, we’d forgotten about this. We’d just both gotten the breasts in 2003, and our friends who run the gallery Momenta, Laura and Eric, invited us to their place for dinner with some other people, like, for a dinner party. And we arrived, and we were wearing a blouse and a skirt, mini skirt and heels, and so was Jaye, and this man that we didn’t even know came up to me, and went, “Oh, you’ve got tits now,” and grabbed them, just squeezed them, in front of everybody, and we jumped back and went, “What the fuck? Why did you do that? How dare you!”
Jesse: Oh my god! Could you imagine someone doing that to me?
Genesis: That’s what we said: “How come it’s OK to do that to me?” And he goes, “Well, because you’re a guy.” And we went, “So, would you have done that to her or her or her? No? So, what makes it OK?” He couldn’t really answer. It was probably [partially that he was curious], but mainly it was aggressive, and it was because he was freaked out. It disturbed him that someone was breaking his logo of maleness, and so it was an attack. It was shocking. And that was a revelation, to realize that it’s like a minefield that women have to pass through in their lives because of this predatory nature of the male, and this aggression that comes out so easily. It’s scary.
Jesse: It can be really intense.
Genesis: And you suddenly realize, “My god, no wonder women have mixed feelings about the male of the species and can be afraid of them and can be withdrawn from full communication. It was very disturbing, and also, going home and suddenly having cars slow down with four guys in them that were drunk screaming, “We’re gonna get you and rape you.”
Jesse: Oh my god, really?
Genesis: Oh yeah. We got followed and yelled at quite a lot in Ridgewood, which was a pity because it meant we had to tone down how we dressed. And we were enjoying the liberation of skirts. That was one of the positives, having such an expanded wardrobe, the possibility of clothing. It’s OK if you’re a woman; it doesn’t matter how wild and colorful it is, or how sexy or whatever. It’s OK because you’re a woman and women dress up. And we just thought, “How stupid that yesterday without breasts I was supposed to wear boring clothes and have no interest in how I look, and today I can do whatever I want.” Perfume, makeup.
Jesse: Yeah, that’s really interesting. It was like a rite of passage for you.
Genesis: Yeah, completely. And of course going shopping with Jaye or with other women friends, [it’s like,] “Let’s go and get a pedicure and a manicure, together, yay!” And get your feet massaged; it’s wonderful. There are lots of things that women probably don’t realize are real treats, although most women think of that as a treat.
Jesse: Yeah, mani/pedis are, like, the definition of a treat.
Genesis: So, that was another aspect on the positive side. But, yeah, the main negative was just becoming really aware of this underlying sexual predatory nature that’s within a lot of the male species, and how their vision of sexuality is really primitive. It’s shocking to me how primitive and fixated on skin and flesh it is. There’s no subtlety. There’s no complexity and sophistication. There’s very little fantasy. So, we felt much closer to the female in that sense. My erotic nature and sexual nature is much more about detail and little things, tickling and touching, smells and skin just rubbing gently on skin. And the clothing. I grew up watching The Avengers—you know that show? Diana Rigg in her skin-tight leather catsuit; so it was inevitable when we saw Jaye in her outfits, we were lost. That was it. . . .
Jesse: Right. It’s so true. . . . When you were being interviewed for the show Soft Focus with Ian Svenonius, you said that you haven’t yet managed to have a dream that hasn’t occurred. You were so cute; you said, “That’s kind of exciting, isn’t it?”
Genesis: [Laughs] Is that what we said?
Jesse: [Laughs] That’s what you said! And I thought, “That’s so awesome!” What are some dreams that have occurred?
Genesis: Whew! Oh gosh. Well, let’s see. We dreamed of meeting William Burroughs, and we met William Burroughs. And we dreamed of meeting Brion Gysin and met him—and worked with them both. Timothy Leary and lots of people that we admired; we more or less ended up taking it for granted that if it was going to be of service we would meet them because everyone we needed just turned up. . . . What else? Well, obviously all through life we’ve been looking for the most remarkable woman. And we met some remarkable women and were with them for various lengths of time, and it wasn’t till we were forty-one that we met Jaye, and that was obviously incredible. And she—we were writing about it the other day actually—she fit exactly all the things that we gradually constructed as the perfect woman. The nurse part of her was this incredibly compassionate, nurturing, giving, kind, self-sacrificing woman, the sort of Florence Nightingdale; and then the dominatrix, the sexy, fantasy, I’ll go anywhere, do anything attitude. And then just incredibly smart and intelligent. And also she had this thing when people would say, “Don’t you get bored doing housework?” And she would say, “Nope. Me doing housework allows Gen to get things done, so it’s a privilege.” And she actually used to think of it that way.
Jesse: Yeah, that’s really nice.
Genesis: So, what else? Doing Throbbing Gristle and coming up with this idea of industrial music, and it becoming a worldwide phenomenon. There are so many. Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth was just an idea that we dreamed up, and it became a worldwide phenomenon for ten years, and it’s still going as Thee Psychick Bible. . . . So, pretty much everything that we imagine happens. . . . I mean, we’ve gone from imagining being a bohemian, beatnik, artist, writer, poet, traveling the world doing interesting things—that’s what we wanted to be since we were eight, nine years old—and it’s all we’ve ever done.
Jesse: That’s great.
Genesis: So, thank you! Whatever “it” is. I feel [kind of] spoiled sometimes. But there’s been a lot of struggle too. It’s the easiest path if you surrender to it, to just living out all the dreams and fantasies and aspirations that you have, but it comes at a price of also having to accept everything that happens around that and through that. If you live intensely, intense things happen.
Jesse: Right, like your arm . . .
Genesis: Like my arm or Jaye or different things. But last night we were lying here—we think a lot as you’ve probably gathered—and we were thinking, “Would we, if we had the foresight, and we’d have known that Jaye would drop her body after fourteen years, would we have then preferred to live a much more normal, ordinary life in order to be with her longer?” And when we really thought about it, we decided, “No, we couldn’t.” She wouldn’t have been with me if we would have wanted to live like that. There’s no other option. She was drawn to me because of my incredible motivation, and also because we weren’t the typical man. . . .
Jesse: Believe it or not, I don’t have any more questions. Do you have anything else that I didn’t ask you that you’d like to add?
Genesis: I just hope that people really spend time [becoming more aware]. It seems that the human species really is at a crisis point—it really is, in a very different way than it has been ever before. I mean, there’s been the plague that wiped out twenty million people, and the flu in the early 1900s that wiped out tens of millions. But those were sort of nature. We’re actually doing it totally to ourselves this time. And that’s a really different thing. We’re actually overwhelming nature. There has to be a huge reconsideration of how people view themselves; they have to see that they are one cell in a giant organism, and the health of the organism requires every cell to be healthy. So, every human being that looks for wisdom is actually aiding in the psychic hygiene of the species. . . . We have to think of ourselves as a species instead of all these sub-groups and clans and tribes and religions and social groupings and economic groupings—that’s disaster. . . . So, for better or worse, we have to find unity—unity of purpose and unity of dreaming a future.
Which is why it turns out that Brion Gysin was right when he said, “We’re here to go.” He meant into space. The human species is, in our opinion, destined in its best form, to colonize space. And, not only would that be wonderful and fantastic and exciting, but if we could all work for that goal, all of us, and realize that whatever mundane task we’re doing was part of that huge change, that incredible future, instead of thinking that we have to do it despite everyone else or we have to protect our little bit of property, our few items that we own, it would be incredible. The human species is miraculous and fantastic. People are fascinating. People shouldn’t get the idea that we’re anti-human, or that we’re angry at the human species; we’re not.
Jesse: No, it doesn’t sound like that.
Genesis: We love them dearly, and we want them to stop squabbling and hurting themselves, and do something incredible. If we can reach our dreams with determination, so can the species. Imagine what we could do [with] all that money that’s wasted on the War on Drugs and on weapons and the military everywhere. And scientists, and all the brilliant people that invent things, if they all just focused on space and on getting rid of illness through genetics and so on, just whatever is available without moral judgments, that’s what we would like, to see the species eventually act like one being and manifest one unified purpose that is incredible.
Jesse: That sounds really nice. I feel like we’re so far away from it, like you said.
Genesis: We are, but you know how quickly things can change. There’s that whole chemical phrase, “As above, so below.” And it happens in society. If the government is devious, hypocritical, or unreliable, so are the people. It really is like that; there’s a mirror image that happens. So, it requires some true leadership, and that requires separation from the corruption of, in this country, lobbyists and corporations and conglomerates. In other countries, [there are] different factors, but basically, the average person or the voting person, the human being on the street in society, has a lot more power than they imagine. And, for example, if everyone ignored the police, the police would have no power. They can’t arrest everyone. Nor would they really want to. They probably would give up their uniforms. If the army started trying to have a war and everyone just turned around and laughed at them, and all the people in it that didn’t want to [be in it] just left, they couldn’t do anything.
Jesse: That would be amazing, yeah. Well, I like that last thought. It feels like a good place to end.
Jesse: Thank you!