Tugging The Worm, James Duesing, Artists Statement
In a society that is bounded by nihilism and a strong military presence monuments are raised to the dead and to the wars that have killed the dead. It would be austere if it were not dominated by high fashion and billboards that tell the characters there is a larger more beautiful world and it can be bought on credit. The inbred and hybrid beings that inhabit these landscapes enjoy seeing people act out murders for entertainment. They talk about going places and eating things. They dream of spending their life with someone or getting away from the one with whom they’re spending their life. Sometimes they touch. Sometimes they strike. Sometimes they dance. Sometimes they hold it all in. They create a utopia that understands complete annihilation is an ever present possibility.
The script for Tugging The Worm was written during a tour of Europe in 1983. At that time the Berlin Wall was standing, Reganomics had made the American dollar a powerful international force at the expense of the national debt and a disease called AIDS had begun it’s rampant consumption of the first generation of innocent people. The title of this film is a twist on a capitalist slogan for success and a method of safe sex.