Barber's several shifts of phase in the desert are enabled by brutal violence: first, the prior murder of the cave-dwelling hermit whose stockpiled foods allow Effing to survive and paint; then Barber's murder of the outlaws whose fortune in money and bonds enables his full assumption of a new identity as "Effing.
So in a long, rambling discourse to Marco, at the virtual center of the novel, Effing criticizes the nineteenth-century realists, Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt in particular, for their complicity with structures of domination and control: "Manifest Destiny
Persisting, he nonetheless recognizes in Moonlight a "landscape of inwardness and calm" so opposite to the rantings of his "mad employer" (137) that he must put Effing out of mind as well.
Dead center in the text, however, is the image of Ralph Albert Blakelock dressed as an Indian brave and attempting to exchange those bills, a man gone lunatic, Effing claims, because of stresses brought on by eight starving children and unscrupulous art dealers, people like Effing's father, whose name (Barber) he is given the chance to renounce.
And I told them to f*** off and I told them to write what they effing like and it's as simple as that.
All I have said is that I met you once for a couple of hours at Chris Evans' house and we had a chat and it was effing it.
And I said why don't you get off her effing back, get off my effing back and let me get on with our lives.
Gazza: "I've had the chairman, everyone on my f***ing back and I can't see my f***ing son on Wednesday and it's his effing birthday.
Now, instead of seeing my son, I have my f***ing dad up to effing help me out.
Gazza: "As far as I'm concerned, I am not effing bothered.