A Tribute to the Genius of Tuoko Laaksonen:

A non-Sermon for a non-Seance

Malcom Gregory Scott
5 min readJun 25, 2019

(The following is the text of a piece I performed at the Tom of Finland Foundation on 23 June 2019, as part of Brontez Purnell’s non-Seance, a site-specific immersive experience. Please be advised that it contains sexually explicit language.)

I was born with my boots on and my mother screamed.

I drew my first breaths as an alien…. and YET

I was earthbound, both those boots on the ground,

my tail in the dirt, and my hand down my pants.

So I already knew from my first longings: nature can’t be wrong.

And in a stack of magazines discovered in the back of a walk-in closet in a little Mississippi town — a closet framed in fear as much as wood and plaster — I met the Artist… and met myself.

Courage, boy.

Worlds away and wars ago, the Artist found his way.

Drawing prodigy from his own boyhood isolation and furtive desire, he dared set a forbidden beauty to paper, giving lead-weighted permanence to an impossible world, a world of horn-dog dreams in which we now find ourselves —miraculously — awake. Awake… in this world of his little “dirty drawings”

With ever-growing mastery, the Artist gave shape and shadow to the rarely-innocent archetypes that somehow inhabited us too, the archetypes we would ourselves somehow inhabit — even now — and for some, even unto death.

For, did he not give line to the very contours of homo-fantasy?

Did he not beget, in pen, and pencil, and penis, a tribe of lovers and their beloved?

Did he not —with draftsman’s expertise and lover’s artistry —etch upon our stippled hearts a pantheon of demigods and daemons to adore or corrupt? A pleasure park of graphite porn-art?

And still so much more than a mere pornography, because… did he not indeed endow us, more generously even than he endowed his men, with an unapologetic glimpse of the sexual possibilities of our liberated selves, erasing the fear of boyhood closets?

And when I climb to the roof and strain my old eyes to the horizon where I began, I can see a line, his line, like dark navy blue thread on a sailors’ whites.

From that Mississippi closet, through my Navy… uhm.. discharge, the line is there.

From the earliest days of the harrowing plague years, through my own diagnosis but —oh-so-barely and oh-so-gratefully — past my early grave… the line is there.

From my unlikely recovery from Stage IV AIDS to my rediscovery of shared bodily pleasure, the line is there.

From bygone highway rest area trysts to Thursday’s load-in-my-ass, the line is there.

And, from the first time I recognized another man’s desire for… who… me(?) to that one time in 1988, when the Artist pinched my ass, the line is there.

His is a clear through-line, a lifeline, a loveline, and ultimately, its darkness notwithstanding, a loveline-ness, a love-li-ness.




His is a blood line, a sire line, a family line, and defiantly, I chose his line, and thus I am of his line. I am the boy with the boot in his crotch.

No… we are all that boy with the boot in his crotch.

We are the Finnish soldier and the motorcycle cop.

We are the leather man and the jock.

We are all… Kake.

Through the magical line of the Artist, we have become the begotten.

The ancients gave name to this phenomenon: this spirit-laden line that binds men together across generations, and time, and even beyond death. The ancients gave name to it and honored it at their household temples. The ancients called it: Genius.

No. Not the small-minded, small-case-g-genius of test scores and Mensa “intelligence.” Nor the all-too-loosely tossed praise of art critics. But the original notion of Genius, first from the Greeks and then the Romans: Upper-case G Genius, literally, ‘the begetter,’ the attendant spirit of every man, a fiery inborn power committed to fostering natural desires and their satisfaction…

This is the legacy of the artist: Genius,

the Genius of liberated sexuality,

the Genius of our most exaggerated maleness,

the Genius, not of a toxic predatory masculinity, but rather an admittedly performative masculinity, a masculinity redeemed and reclaimed by men whose tribal bond was forged in the rut, fearlessly satisfying, in an aggressively heterosexual world, the most gender-contrary natural desires imaginable…

the Genius of fucking the very patriarchy that taught us wholesome natural desire between men is wrong, and the Genius of sodomy, turning, as it does, Genius itself upside down, onto its non-procreative head, itself small-case-g genius in an overcrowded, overheated world…

the Genius we honor at the Artist’s household temples this very night, invoking its presence: the presence of the Genius of the Artist,

the presence of the Genius of freedom and play and camp.

Let us call on his Genius now!

Let’s light candles to that fiery inborn spirit!

Adorn its pedestals with flowers!

Anoint its altars with sacred unctions!

So to honor also the creative gifts we, by earthly virtue, all possess, the begetting Genius within us everyone, even the hardest-edged, the most cross-hatched among us.

And yes! Scream!

Scream out to the Artists within us and the Artists around us.

Don’t hold back! Empty your lungs and let the Genius of every Artist of every age hear you! And in that moment make such a great queer noise that Genius cannot ignore our invitation!

Beckon the Genius of the beautifully unique individuals who, safely enfolded in loving tribes can fearlessly unfold their endowments, their gifts, for an expectant and painfully needful world.

Insist on its presence here tonight, and when you leave here, take the presence of Genius with you.

Grab the line of Genius that courses through your life and hold fast, however earnestly others may plea you let go — and they will —hold on, I say!

This, yes… this, is my simple exhortation to you: Grab onto Genius and never let go, so as always to foster in your self your most natural desires… and see them satisfied:

the most natural desire to create, and to dream, and to fuck,

the most natural desire to love, and to be loved,

the most natural desire to be free, to play, and oh yes to go-a-camping.

Empower yourself with Genius the rest of your days.

Empower yourself with the Genius that can unlock universes of desire.

Empower yourself with the Genius pater familiae.

The Genius of Tuoko.

The Genius of YOU.