Monday, September 19, 2011

Worth Repeating

This is a re-post of something that I put up about two years ago. That Uncle Bill could really call them out!

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!


fred c said...

I'm in the Beat-Wannabe camp for Ferlinghetti. I like his stuff okay but he tried way, way too hard to be cool, which is oxymoronic.

Anonymous said...

You're a little too late to be a beatnik, daddy-o.

fred c said...

I was a beatnik once for Halloween, about 1958. My father had a paperback copy of "The Beats," there were books all over the place at our house. It made a big impression on me. The books and "The Beats" I suppose.

arebetea said...

I just saw a film about the trial of Ferlinghetti, in think in San Francisco, for publishing obscenity, Ginsberg's "Howl". Of course he was found not guilty. Very interesting film, with lots of modern animation graphics. Howl was the name of the film.
By the way, very happy for Keith.

fred c said...

Thanks for reading, Arebetea, and for the kind words about Keith. It's hard to imagine now, an obscenity trial about a poem. I guess that's progress.