Tuesday, August 18, 2009

William S. Burroughs Explains It All

Burroughs’ books may not be everybody’s cup of tea, I understand that. But he was a brilliant, no bull-shit analyst of modern life, that’s for sure. This example is from a 1961 interview that appeared in the Journal for the Protection of All Beings, a periodical edited by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (fellow Beat or Beat-Wannabe, depends on your point of view):

BURROUGHS ON POLITICAL CONFLICTS: “Political conflicts are merely surface manifestations. If conflicts arise you may be sure that certain powers intend to keep this conflict under operation since they hope to profit from the situation. To concern yourself with surface political conflicts is to make the mistake of the bull in the ring, you are charging the cloth. That is what politics is for, to teach you the cloth. Just as the bullfighter teaches the bull, teaches him to follow, obey the cloth.”

“The Cloth . . .” Family Values, the War on Terror, Socialism, Law and Order . . . keep your eyes on the cloth!

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