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Spitting Fury

6th of July, 2020

This piece was first left as a review on the website RateYourMusic. I was reviewing The Glowing Man, an album by Swans. This is one of those infamous RYM style reviews which doesn't even mention the album in question. RateYourMusic has a noble tradition of people leaving interesting but ostensibly irrelevant pieces of writing as reviews for things. A lot of people hate it, I think it's great. Sometimes the pieces of writing are not explicitly about the music itself, but the simple act of taking two totally disconnected pieces of art and confidently claiming that one is a description of the other is an act which endows some new meaning upon both distinct pieces.

The phrase “spitting fury”, which is supposed to mean a kind of animalistic rage, to me always conjured a rather more pathetic image. Spitting fury to me brings to mind the kind of rage that crumples against the powerful. As Daniel Kitson puts it, the impotent fury of the privileged. The spitting furious man is left without any outlet or recourse, not enough power to even make a small dent in whatever cosmic injustice is wronging him. I think it isn’t so much that the man is unable to attack, but rather that he is too terrified to allow himself to try. He would rather writhe in humiliation and take what comes to him than strike and face retaliation. As he squirms, he rebels in whatever small way he can, by contorting his face and going red and stifling his bellowing through his stiff lips, squirting little dribbles of spit into the air that are so thin they evaporate before landing on his enemy.