1 thought on “Words of advice for young people

  1. peashoot

    Nice. I hadn’t heard from Burroughs (or heard this mix) in some time. I always liked Burroughs, albeit on reflection probably always for the wrong reasons. I remember quickly breezing through Junky in Cudahy Library sophomore year when I should have been reading for an exam on the legislative process, and being struck by how utterly divorced and seemingly ignorant the one area (government) seemed to be from the other (junkie-dom). The ruthlessness of the junkies and their suppliers in the novel, and the drive to score day after day, was captivating for its edginess and freewheelingness and, somehow, tragically romantic. The legislative process, on the other hand, was rigid and soporifically institutional. Soon thereafter I met Old Bull Lee (On the Road, while on trains in France), sage for the Beats, who made all of the hustling of Junky, Warholian “street education,” seem the pinnacle of mental discipline and illumination and the wellspring for social criticism. Then, the absurdity and disjointed vision, the trenchant play with dream and waking states of Naked Lunch blew the doors off the sucker. Dada, cosmopolitanism, drugs, sex, and creativity: mix, stir well, and a compelling argument is bound to emerge. Lou Highness often spoke-sung of such concoctions, usually better than most I’ve read or heard. But it was really Cronenberg’s film adaptation of Naked Lunch that cemented some of the nutty, surreal, filthy-ness of Burroughs for me, and images from that film will forever be part of my recollection of anything Burroughs ever stood for in my mind from the beginning. Innovation. Alien. Agony. Seduction. Serum.


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