Valarie Solanas Writes Up Your Ass

Valarie Solanas Writes Up Your Ass

Valerie Solanas had previously been known around downtown as a hustling street urchin who wrote the satirical-but-serious SCUM Manifesto in 1967. In addition to promoting her SCUM movement, Solanas wanted someone to produce Up Your Ass, or From the Cradle to the Boat, or The Big Suck, or Up from the Slime—a gender-bending romp that took place in the social gutters. The play featured a character named Bongi who ran into a variety of degenerates: Alvin, the ladies’ man with a revolving bed; Ginger the Cosmo career girl who gets ahead by “lapping up shit”; a misogynous bore named Russell; a sex-crazed homicidal mother named Mrs. Arthur; her penis-obsessed child, the Boy; and so on. Up Your Ass climaxes during a scene about a “Creative Homemaking class” that encouraged mothers to combine their sex lives with the mundane task of washing baby bottles. They are instructed to lather up the baby brush and surprise their husbands by “r-a-a-m-m-ing the brush right up his asshole. So, you see, Girls, marriage really can be fun.” When Solanas was staying at the Chelsea Hotel, she recruited actors for Up Your Ass by passing out her outrageous mimeographed literature in the lobby—which prompted resident Arthur Miller to complain to the management. Andy Warhol ultimately chose not to produce Up Your Ass, which started a chain of events that led to the shooting.

From Chapter 18 of The Downtown Pop Underground — order online, or from a local independent bookstore


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