I’d like to relate an experience David Silvey had when he was quite young, only about eight. It lingers in your mind, as genuine obscenity tends to do. Especially because it happened to a child, it is so scary. I don’t want to deal with the original text this evening, so let me tell the story from memory. That may be the best route in any case.

If you read Silvey’s account of this episode in Project Artichoke, you will not forget it. What happened to him when he was only about eight was obscene. Do you want to know some synonyms listed for obscene? Try:

shocking, scandalous, vile, foul, atrocious, outrageous, heinous, odious, abhorrent, abominable, disgusting, hideous, repugnant, offensive, objectionable, repulsive, revolting, repellent, loathsome, nauseating, sickening, awful, dreadful, terrible, frightful

I found myself wondering how David could live with a memory like that for the rest of his life.

I suppose in a way you can try to set things aside, but in Silvey’s case it seems his early encounter with Artichoke just started the story. No matter what he did for the rest of his life, the project seemed to dog him. He could not seem to escape it. He did not look for the trouble it gave him. It just kept showing up.

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