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Audioccult Vol. 79: The Punishment for Twerking Is Death

Light a candle. Draw the required sigils. Now, raise your arms above your head and slowly, gently, exhale your soul. You won’t need it here. This is Audioccult, and it’s time to get low. Illustration: SHALTMIRA


It’s illegal to twerk now. The news flashes across every available screen; the skies blotted out by bulletins pouring from zeppelins, their massive bulks recommissioned to inspire terror and nostalgia for a time when dancing was restricted to jitterbugs and tarantism. Neither Man nor Woman may perform the act or even say the word. I’m frolicking through the gray areas of the law by even typing the word, but then the risk is how I make my paper (income). The popular Halloween costumes for men this year (Miley Cyrus, Zombie Miley Cyrus, Miley popping it on the WTC if you’re a bad boyee) sit uselessly on their human hangers. “Who are you supposed to be?” must now be answered in the form of spoken word rather than through the awkward body movements of frames unaccustomed to dances that don’t involve clenched fists held closely to the body. Juicy J’s raps now come out only as a series of blubbering, animal-like sobs and half-finished sentences. Lou Bega’s attempt to remind people that he’s alive by releasing the single “Tw*rky, Tw*rky” merely results in police officers showing up outside his house and laughing contemptuously.

Even the Heavens themselves quake with the infallibility of the law. The Teen Deities stalk restlessly, Teen Jesus has taken to hanging with Ian Curtis, affecting a pouty face whenever spoken to. Teen Buddha is gaining weight steadily, a lack of pleasurable movement causing Rubenesque limbs to expand into debilitating obesity. Teen Kali no longers wears anything except her ‘Edgy Miley’ costume around the house and to the dinner table, the pent-up energy in her hips and heinder creating dangerous fluxes throughout reality. Teen Metatron stares in panicked indecision at his fifth period notebook cover, a dozen iterations of the words “NO GODS NO MASTERS” done in sharpie and subsequently crossed out. Creation is in chaos.

There were days of debate leading up the the decision, a seemingly infinite line of condemnation and hyperbole gushing forth from our temples of law and order. Law & Order: SVU did a two-part episode where a student twerks in school, resulting in getting yelled at by the principal and her dad. House Speaker John Boehner gave a long and rambling speech in a golden crown and lambskin robe, referring to himself multiple times as, “the spiritual opposite of Rihanna’s “Diamonds”,” and emphasizing each point by rhythmically thumping his chest. At hour ten he had turned red and grown to twice his normal height, and by the end of third day the law was in effect.

Thousands of news outlets have shut down now. Babies weep in their cribs, knowing that something has been lost but unable to grasp what it is.

The ineptness of audible language fails us more and more, our bodies seeking to act out movements they no longer have access to.

Last night, a vision came to me. The saucer from the I WANT TO BELIEVE poster materialized in a flash of light. The beings (though the word that filled my mind at the time was ‘saviors’) which emerged from that indistinct craft are nearly unfathomable to my eyes, yet there’s a certain sexual grace to their movements… a bounce. I was not afraid. They handed me a book, and as my fingers brushed the velvet-soft spine I became filled with a soul-deep peace I had never felt before. They departed then, leaving me alone in the dark, yet still I could read the words emblazoned on the cover: “TO TWERK MAN”. When I awoke, however, there was only a great stillness.

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Published November 01, 2013. Words by Daniel Jones.