The Chlorophyll Manifesto


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We hear legitimate outcries today against pornography, against the exploitation of women’s approval on the oppression that is projected in this construction of romantic ideology. The caption is too self-revealing to need further deconstruction: “1-800 FLOWERS. The Mating Call.”

When bourgeois advertising inscribes on our consciousness “Say It With Flowers,” radical scepsis can lead to only one conclusion: A bouquet of flowers is rape sublimated through consumerist plant symbolism. The medieval depiction of women as flowers, through which a feudal tyranny colonized the consciousness of its time, is one of the most degrading moments in western history, embodied in that so-called popular medieval work, The Romance of the Rose. Jean Genet’s attempt to undermine this abuse by turning the equation woman – flower into an image of homosexuals in this pseudo-radical work Our Lady of the Flowers is but the latest in long line of what must be seen as double false consciousness. “Prisoners are flowers” he states at the beginning, thus setting the ideology of plantism in the context of homosexuality, a prejudice that subverts the radical content of this so-called avant-garde work of art.

It is a little known yet glaring truth (little known because of plantistic blindness) that anti-floralism is at the heart of modern literature. From Poe and Baudelaire through Kafka, Genet, and science fiction (seed-pods taking over the earth), anti-floralism has been the unspoken principle at work, just as in the past, an elitist pro-floralism was the ideology of botanical tyranny. Kafka’s entire neurosis is summed up in a statement to Felice Bauerthat the sight of one rose was oppressive and that two together was almost unbearable. In Poe, the prejudice is blatantly expressed in his characterization of Roderick Usher (the words are telling), where he writes that “the odor of certain flowers oppressed him.” I need not dwell on Baudelaire’s shameless, decadent exploitation of plantism to perpetuate this so-called anti-traditional outlook, supposedly on behalf of destroy-ing the false idealism surrounding traditional plant imagery; and yet, his key work, The Flowers of Evil, is nothing but plantism in new form.

American literature is far from immune to this linguistic and ideological contagion. It has its most virulent plantistic poetry in Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. And contrary to recent neo-Marxist and deconstructionist studies, it is not capitalist oppression or the subversion of authorial textuality that is the key to Melville, but Plantism, articulated in what amounts to the culminating tract of 19th-century plantistic viciousness, Billy Budd.

I will not belabor the point, already made by radical critiques, about the fraudulent master-pieces in the canon of western tradition. Nevertheless, the key point must be driven home: from Homer’s simile of the generations of man as the autumn leaves blowing in the wind and the Gospel’ s without scientific plant-consciousness. A guide to plantistic art and language by Weltgeist and Untergang is in progress, extracts of which appear below:

Prejudiced     Neutral

uprooted         removed
plant (n.)         chlorophyll producer
plant (v.)         seed embed
fruitful            productive
roots                nourishment network
bud                  potential floral form
flower             vegetational scent system
garden             floral installation

It follows that if Melville had been truly radical, he would have named his work Billy Potential Floral Form. Similarly, had Genet been the avant-guard writer he appears to be, he would have called his first novel Our Lady of the Vegetational Scent Systems.

Against a background of oppression, cloaked in the canon of western aestheticism, the watch-word is vigilance, eternal vigilance for the liberation of plants. The freedom of Flora is nourished by vegetable consciousness!

Art To Be Avoided

Whitman, Leaves of Grass; Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mai; Genet, Notre Dames des Fleurs; Goethe, “The Metamorphosis of Plants”; Shakespeare, most sonnets and all garden scenes {vide Richard II and Romeo and Juliet); Herman Melville, Billy Budd; Dante, Paradiso, Cantos 30-32; Joyce Kilmer, “Trees”; Andrew Marvell, “The Garden”; Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child’s Gar-den of Verses; Hieronymous Bosch, “The Garden of Earthly Delights”; Allessandro Scarlatti, “The Garden of Love”; Wagner, “Forest Murmurs”; Van Gogh, “Cypresses”; Renoir, all still lifes, etc.

Critical Inquiry into Plantism

As yet a nascent field because of widespread, institutionalized plantism, but gaining attention.; See particularly recent studies by Stephen! Greenblatt, Shakespeare’s Gardens: The Diff- sion of Social Energies in Elizabethan Imperialis- tic Fairy Tales; Gary Taylor, Reeinventing Flora: A Subversive Reading of Pastoral Poetry; Michael! Rogin: Herman Melville: Plantistic Literature in1 19th Century American Culture; Michel Foucault;; The Pollen of History: Plantistic Historiography, from Herder to Spengler; Stanley Fish, The So* Called Garden Poem from Marvell to Keats: Study in Plantistic Interpretive Communities), Mikhail Bakhtin, Subversive Shepherds: A Newi Look at Dresden Porcelain; The Death Valley; Collective, Our Plants, Our Selves?

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  • Lillith

    Ok, so this person is a fruitcake, can I say that? Or is there a manifesto about the murder of fruit and the deplorably bad housing conditions for cake?

  • Eleanor

    Tongue in cheek, or perhaps a fantasy with a serious tone. Nevertheless, he does provide an interesting point of view and reading, demonstrating that divergent opinion can spring from any-and-all sources, as in how statistics can be "interpreted" to support varying views.

  • No Dhimmi traitor

    'Looksism" – I'm assuming you mean that people are cruel to those who are "ugly?" Well, that scourge works both ways: I'm a good-looking female, and I've been mistreated because of it my entire life. Women in particular have been extremely aloof and hateful. Just one look at me, and they begin scowling. Fortunately, I'm too old to care now, but I wondered for years what the problem was.

    Being beautiful ain't all it's cracked up to be.

  • wctaqiyya

    Great manifesto. We are finally getting to the root of the matter when we realize that all other isms are but stems and seeds of plantism. I wonder though, is there no hope at all that we might ally ourselves with plants against the dark, evil forces of the single celled organism? They lie there, miles under the earth, waiting, increasing their power, until they are ready to attack, inhabit the souls of Mormons and destroy us. What must we do to convince the plants we really do like them? Or, are we doomed to serve as mere fertilizing, mulching and pruning slaves?

  • MartyG

    I want my 2 minutes back.

  • mrbean

    They are coming to take you away ho ho ho ho hee hee hee hee hah hah amd you will have a nice room with quilted walls and a jacket with long sleeves that ties in the back. And Nurse Crachet will look after you.