The Unshoeing of the Ass purports to be a Greatest Hits compilation of their work from 1978 to 1989, supposedly put together by the “#1 Sisyphus Fan” Geoffrey Stephen Day. It consists of 21 “songs”, many of them remarkably similar in sound and structure, with lyrics pulled mainly from the poems of Rosetti (or so I’ve been lead to believe), interspersed with 21 excerpts from a lengthy sermon of crazed, rabid, phallocentric zealotry called “The Law.” With a voice that sounds like an angry professional wrestler (I half expected him to shout out “Snap into a Slim Jim!” at any moment), this brutish, menacing malcontent harangues, fumes and babbles amuck, spewing contemptuous rhetoric, vilifying the very idea of woman while at the same time paying deference to masculinity, promoting awe and reverence for the male sexual organ. He’s not doing it for money or fame. As he himself proclaims, “I get paid in female scorn!” To him, he is speaking The Truth, shepherding his flock in the path of righteousness and spiritual purity, free from the taint of femininity. And like St. Bernard of Clairvaux, he demands of his warrior-monks complete chastity, warning against all conjugal relations with the fairer sex. “Now remember”, he preaches, “that penis is for you alone to touch. I don’t want you putting it in places...” He goes on to describe all sorts of gynecological ugliness, “terrible, stinking, sweating, sweltering, horrible little holes” that only “sniveling half-men” would indulge in. Orlando then proceeds with the best argument for masturbation since Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders, and I would say that his recommendations should definitely be taught in school. Says Orlando: “Right now I’ll tell you that the best thing you can do is touch yourself... Think of it as a predator, and anything could be its prey, even you. That’s why you must treat it with respect. Every time you feel the need to urinate it might spit out fire. It might spit out lava. You don’t know what will happen. That’s why you must treat it with kid gloves...kind of toy kid gloves.”
The rest of the album is more of the same, and every word, every resonant pluck of the bass is a precious gem. On the very end there is a segment allegedly recorded (although it sounds suspiciously edited) at an airport cocktail lounge in which Orlando performs an impromptu speech called “Orlando Furioso is Saint Peter.” During the performance he harasses a heckling audience member, insulting the man’s wife because “the menstrual blood no longer pours in great abundance from between her vericose thighs.” He then counsels another audience member on which gate they need to go to for a flight to Miami.
I would be remiss if I did not inform you about the booklet that accompanies this CD, which is essential for a full understanding of the contents of the record. In addition to a three-page fold-out of the world-renowned “Phallus as Icon” painting by Eric Hammer(a clue to greater mysteries), it also features the four-page essay “Shafts of Gold: A History of Sisyphus Autopsy”, by the aforementioned Geoffrey Stephen Day, a history of questionable authenticity. It contains many spurious, far-fetched tales to entertain the credulous, tales about publishing a newspaper called “E.M.P.O.W.E.R. THE MAN (Embetterment of Man’s Palette or Why Estrogen Ruins THE MAN)”, about their tour being terrorized by a group of protesters called “M.A.M.E. (Mothers Against Misogyny Everywhere)”, and about being trapped on an island for four years after a plane crash, during which they compiled a diary called Survival of the Fittest, from which Mr. Day quotes:
“We still refuse to harden our arteries with the fatty flesh of Woman, but we find that their bodies make a sturdy addition to out lean-to.”
By this CD now. Your manhood depends upon it.