The Imp Of The Perverse: Book Review of “Hot Naked Kittens” By Delicious Tacos

Exactly one hundred seventy years ago, in the July 1845 issue of Graham’s Magazine, Edgar Allan Poe wrote a short piece called “The Imp of the Perverse.”  It’s fitting that this little essay should have come out exactly one hundred seventy years ago.

Right down to the same month.  And I don’t believe in coincidences, at least not in matters of the Soul.

The thesis of the essay was that man has deep within him an inexpressible longing to pursue his self-destructive impulses, regardless of the consequences to himself or to others.

Of all people, Poe would know this.

Give him the choice between the right path and the path of nihilistic ruin, and he will listen to the voice of that perverse little imp perched on his shoulder, telling him to indulge his baser instincts.  Poe tells us:

We stand upon the brink of a precipice. We peer into the abyss–we grow sick and dizzy. Our first impulse is to shrink from the danger. Unaccountably we remain. By slow degrees our sickness and dizziness and horror become merged in a cloud of unnamable feeling. By gradations, still more imperceptible, this cloud assumes shape, as did the vapor from the bottle out of which arose the genius in the Arabian Nights.

But out of this our cloud upon the precipice’s edge, there grows into palpability, a shape, far more terrible than any genius or any demon of a tale, and yet it is but a thought, although a fearful one, and one which chills the very marrow of our bones with the fierceness of the delight of its horror…

Examine these similar actions as we will, we shall find them resulting solely from the spirit of the Perverse. We perpetrate them because we feel that we should not. Beyond or behind this there is no intelligible principle; and we might, indeed, deem this perverseness a direct instigation of the Arch-Fiend, were it not occasionally known to operate in furtherance of good.

We can call it the dark side of man’s nobler impulses:  the need to obliterate the Good, the need to chase down and stick a shiv into the ribs of that venerable goddess of Virtue that has been foisted on us from our inception.  It is a profound impulse.

And, as it turns out, a necessary one.

For out of this inky-black fountainhead can pour some wonderfully creative emanations.  I court destruction, I flirt with the Grotesque, so that I may reaffirm my humanity, and my essence.  There is something bizarrely life-affirming in these ruminations of unchecked venery, drug-addled dreams, and the doing of that which is Against Our Self-Interest.

It is a ghastly psychological observation, but it is true:  it cannot exist separate from us, but must permeate our thought and actions.  And even if it is not manifested to the wider world, we acknowledge this instinct of the Perverse within us.  These dark primordial passions—the yearnings of love, the smoky fumes of hate, and the Joy of Ruin—simmer just beneath the surface of our more pleasant and socially-palatable vibrations.

The danger here, of course, is that we may break the bonds of our own humanity, and collapse fully into the embrace of Perversity.  To succumb completely to her charms.

And Tacos knows all about this.  He knows, because he’s been there.  He has danced with the Goddess of Perversity, and it nearly ruined him.  It nearly snuffed him right out.  But sometimes this is what is needed to plumb these mystical waters, to take the soundings of Darkness.  To get to the heart of things.

But Tacos may have gotten the last laugh.  For by chronicling the Perverse in writing, he captures it and imprisons it on paper, where it can do him no harm.  Or, at least, less than it otherwise would be.

It is self-medication with the pen, and the keyboard.

The Imp of the Perverse remains perched on our shoulder, whispering into our ears.  We can choose to listen to him or not listen to him, but he remains there.  He’s the one, for example, who tells us against our better judgment to just say fuck it and do what thou wilt.  Read Tacos’s story “First Date”, and you’ll know what I mean.

Sometimes I wish to listen to this Imp, to indulge him.  And you do, too.  You know it.

This is what draws us to the writings of Delicious Tacos.  His blog has chronicled the darker effusions of the human psyche for several years now, but until now he has been reluctant to release a collection of his musings.  He has now, and it is called Hot Naked Kittens: Stories by Delicious Tacos.  It is a collection of some of his favorite stories, arranged in no particular order.  Imps don’t use logic.  They aim at emotion.  And that’s the beauty of it, see.

It was originally titled Hot Naked Tits, but Tacos found that to be uncongenial to his distributor’s porn filters.

And so:  adapt, improvise, and overcome.

There is no proper introduction here.  There is no attempt to qualify, to explain, to equivocate, or to self-justify.  And there is no need to.  Tacos just throws these little vignettes out there, and leaves us to deal with them.

Just as an Imp should.

The book is only about fifty or sixty pages.  And I don’t want to hear any complaining about that.  The physicist Louis de Broglie’s Ph.D. thesis on wave mechanics was also incredibly short.

There are eleven little stories, eleven little perverse whisperings from our Imp Tacos.  “Autopilot” chronicles the demented musings of a call center worker; “Tomorrow Is Another Day” describes his random thoughts while sitting in traffic; “First Date” is just what it sounds like, and contains this fragment of conversation, which gives us the flavor of the whole:

Are you really as much of an asshole as you say on your blog?

It’s factually true.  Things I say happened, happened.  But I leave out the parts where I’m a functioning human being on most days.  It’s boring to say that I woke up and took a healthy shit and earned money and paid taxes.  Emotional reactions are heightened, particularly with regards to sex.  For instance, I don’t literally want my mouth and nose to be literally grafted onto a 40 year old alcoholic Cambodian woman’s asshole.

The best of the stories may be the last, whose title I will shorten to “Product Review.”  Tacos sets side-by-side the story of his experience with a sex toy with a story about a girl he once knew.  The reader can draw his own conclusions.

So there you have it.  Get the book.  When you need to hear the Imp whisper at you, you can think about these stories.

Oh, and one other thing.

When first released, Tacos wisely chose not to print this as a paperback.  Maybe it was just me, but I didn’t know how many guys would want to be seen carrying something with the words Hot Naked Tits on the cover in pink lettering.

I guess this problem’s solved now with the new title.

But my original idea of getting around the porn censors was to reverse the letters of the title.  Spell it backwards.  The way I see it, you’d get Stit Dekan Ton.  Maybe that would be a good solution.

Or maybe it isn’t.

Read More:  Why Avoiding Time-Wasters Is Important

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