It’s summer, the female solo artists are coming into bud and causing the usual huffing and puffing as they struggle to maintain their relevence. I thought it an appropriate time to unleash an extract from Toten Herzen Malandanti featuring their litigious US nemesis Rose Pursey. In Malandanti, Pursey is suing Dee Vancent for libel and in this scene her attorney has some news for her.
Some flowers grow quite happily in any soil, but roses require their roots to be firmly planted in a good deep layer of horseshit. And there was no shortage of rich humus as Clarke Rubenstein tip-toed into the Whitehouse Film Studio where Rose Pursey was filming her latest music video.
He was a suit and tie in a world of leather and chains. The star of the show was temporarily absent, momentarily out of view. Rubenstein scanned the enormous stage and numerous suspicious eyes scanning him back. He couldn’t have been more out of place in his socks and boxer shorts bursting into the Baptist church several doors down the street.
Fortunately, before he was debagged by Rose’s Baroque denizens and rottweilers, he was recognised by one of her bodyguards.
“Hello Mr. Rubenstein.” The human mountain had a voice deeper than the Grand Canyon.
“Hi. I take it Rose is around somewhere.”
“I’ll take you to her, sir.”
“I thought I’d come and see Rose in her natural environment.”
“Aint nothin natural about this place, sir. It’s another world. Way beyond me.”
“Yes. Quite a set up.” Rubenstein inspected the stage backdrop. A make believe world of trees and nymphs (stood around drinking Budweiser) and a collection of logs of various sizes deposited around an endless bed of leaves. Rose had chosen Val Mal to interpret a concept that had come to her in a dream and direct the video. He had been plucked from a shortlist of auteurs after a process of ruthless rejectionism. Even Terry Richardson’s name had been rubbished for not being risque enough. (Asking Miley Cyrus to keep her boots on was a nod to modesty Rose couldn’t understand.)
Rubenstein didn’t immediately recognise Rose. Her camouflaged body suddenly extracted itself from one of the trees and sidestepped towards him. This was her latest statement, not only to her fans, but to all those rivals with their beady eyes watching each others’ tricks and fripperies. The video was another layer added to a sedimentary accumulation of attention: a tottery stack, which grew in height until everyone on both sides of camera lens and microphone was stood on a precarious column of events, headlines and outrages. Everyone up there, clinging on for dear life, knew the whole lot would eventually, inevitably collapse. Brought down by something as simple as an unphotogenic sneeze.
“Oh, oh, ooh,” she chirruped, shaking herself up to her stoic, stiffening attorney. She reversed into him and rubbed her bare buttocks into his groin. “Oh, oh, ooh.”
“Hello, Rose.” Rubenstein swapped his briefcase from his right hand to his left hand. “So, this is your latest shoot.”
“Damn right. Your attention to detail is so reassuring.”
“What’s the song called?”
“I just told you.” She shuddered again. “Oh, oh, ooh.”
“Ah. Pardon me.” Rubenstein failed to prevent an awkward glance. Beneath the sylvian make-up and body paint Rose was stark naked. Even her pubic hair had been painted the russet colours of autumn. “Good news and bad news. I wanted to tell you that papers have been served on Dee Vincent, Toten Herzen and ANC and we have a signature acknowledging receipt.”
“We can’t sue them in the UK. We approached Carter-Ruck, but, well, after speaking to them they were basically laughing their heads off as they put the phone down.”
“You tell them something funny?” Rose’s leafy extremities shivered as a draught blew across the studio floor.
“I don’t think they saw the insult in being called a vampire.”
“Well, Carter-Ruck, Carter-Fuck, whatever. But we’re still sueing them right?”
“In California. We arranged. . . .”
But Rose couldn’t keep still as she listened. Somewhere, on another dimension, the music was still playing. “Good. Good to know those dirty, depraved fuckers are finally being brought to account.” The make-up artist attempted to touch up several maple leaves down Rose’s left hip. “Anyway, what ya doing down here, Mr Suity-tie-man?”
“That’s it. I just thought I should tell you in person.”
Rose grinned and the only part of her not made up to look like New England in October flashed a brilliant white grin of delight. “Yeah. And catch a load of me as nature intended. All tooth and claw and everything.”
The detached voice of the hidden director roared through the PA system like Almighty God, alerting everyone to find their positions again. Rose scurried back to her leafy glade and straddled one of the logs. She positioned her head to face the camera, threw a look of utter malevolence and flattened her breasts against the rough polystyrene tree stump. The music thundered out of the speakers and made the ground vibrate. Every thump triggered a hump as Rose pummeled the polystyrene log with her camouflaged pelvis.
The last time Rubenstein felt as self-conscious as this his daughter’s horse was being covered by a stallion. He felt like an intruder then and he felt like an intruder now, creeping into Rose’s garden of intimacy, her life amongst the logs and her boundless, unashamed, previously unknown worship of nature.
Thump thump thump thump
‘You gotta take the rough with the smooth, baby
Oh, oh, ooh
Push it, push it up into my groove, baby
Oh, oh, ooh
Gimme, gimme all that you can shoot, baby
Oh, oh, ooh
You gonna turn me inside out and
Ooh . . . licky, licky
Thump thump thump thump
“Okay, and cut,” said the director’s voice. “That was sweet as a nut, Rose. Do you think we can do it just once more, a little more fluidity without squashing the polystyrene log?”
“Sweet Jesus.” Rubenstein headed for the exit.
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