Have A Burroughs Christmas

There isn’t much about William S. Burroughs’ writing that I find as interesting as the man himself. I had the opportunity to meet William on several ocassions while I was living in Lawrence, Kansas. I’ll never forget this one particular time I was sitting in a recording studio with him. He was recording voice-over work for a CD-ROM game called The Dark Eye, based on Edgar Allan Poe’s stories. I was sitting in the control room reading Wired magazine. William was taking his vodka and Coke break. He walked out and inquired as to what it was that I was reading.

“A computer magazine,” I replied simply.

“Computers…bah!” he exclaimed, and with such disdain.

The conversation shifted to a story about Jackie Mason. I don’t recall what that story was about. All you ever wanted to do was listen to him. He had amazing stories and would be more than happy to share. What a presence he was.

As I said, I am more interested in his life, rather than his writing, for the most part. He’s quite a fascinating character. One of the stories that I do like is “Junky’s Christmas,” which can be found on the recording, Spare Ass Annie & Other Tales and a slightly different interpretation on The “Priest” They Called Him, which was a collaboration with Kurt Cobain. There is also a claymation adaptation of it somewhere. Anyway, here is an excerpt. Merry Christmas (to those who celebrate).

Junky’s Christmas by William S. Burroughs (courtesy of artdamage.com)

It was Christmas Day and Danny the Car Wiper hit the street junksick and broke after seventy-two hours in the precinct jail. It was a clear bright day, but there was warmth in the sun. Danny shivered with an inner cold. He turned up the collar of his worn, greasy black overcoat.

This beat benny wouldn’t pawn for a deuce, he thought.

He was in the West Nineties. A long block of brownstone rooming houses. Here and there a holy wreath in a clean black window. DannyÌs senses registered everything sharp and clear, with the painful intensity of junk sickness. The light hurt his dilated eyes.

He walked past a car, darting his pale blue eyes sideways in quick appraisal. There was a package on the seat and one of the ventilator windows was unlocked. Danny walked on ten feet. No one in sight. He snapped his fingers and went through a pantomime of remembering something, and wheeled around. No one.

continue reading…

Have A Burroughs Christmas

There isn’t much about William S. Burroughs’ writing that I find as interesting as the man himself. I had the opportunity to meet William on several ocassions while I was living in Lawrence, Kansas. I’ll never forget this one particular time I was sitting in a recording studio with him. He was recording voice-over work for a CD-ROM game called The Dark Eye, based on Edgar Allan Poe’s stories. I was sitting in the control room reading Wired magazine. William was taking his vodka and Coke break. He walked out and inquired as to what it was that I was reading.

“A computer magazine,” I replied simply.

“Computers…bah!” he exclaimed, and with such disdain.

The conversation shifted to a story about Jackie Mason. I don’t recall what that story was about. All you ever wanted to do was listen to him. He had amazing stories and would be more than happy to share. What a presence he was.

As I said, I am more interested in his life, rather than his writing, for the most part. He’s quite a fascinating character. One of the stories that I do like is “Junky’s Christmas,” which can be found on the recording, Spare Ass Annie & Other Tales and a slightly different interpretation on The “Priest” They Called Him, which was a collaboration with Kurt Cobain. There is also a claymation adaptation of it somewhere. Anyway, here is an excerpt. Merry Christmas (to those who celebrate).

Junky’s Christmas by William S. Burroughs (courtesy of artdamage.com)

It was Christmas Day and Danny the Car Wiper hit the street junksick and broke after seventy-two hours in the precinct jail. It was a clear bright day, but there was warmth in the sun. Danny shivered with an inner cold. He turned up the collar of his worn, greasy black overcoat.

This beat benny wouldn’t pawn for a deuce, he thought.

He was in the West Nineties. A long block of brownstone rooming houses. Here and there a holy wreath in a clean black window. DannyÌs senses registered everything sharp and clear, with the painful intensity of junk sickness. The light hurt his dilated eyes.

He walked past a car, darting his pale blue eyes sideways in quick appraisal. There was a package on the seat and one of the ventilator windows was unlocked. Danny walked on ten feet. No one in sight. He snapped his fingers and went through a pantomime of remembering something, and wheeled around. No one.

continue reading…

Top Sites of 2001

Among other things that I am currently “working” on, the Top 100 Albums of 2001 has turned in to a Top 50 Albums of 2001. Doing a Top 100 was a bit to ambitious. Coming up with 100 was easy enough, but ranking them made my brain hurt. So anyway, the Top 50 Albums of 2001 list has been completed. I’m in the process of making a nice presentation of it, so stay tuned over the few days for the results. Did I mention to send me your own top lists?

To keep you busy in the mean time, I’ve compiled a Top 10 Web Sites of 2001. They are:

01 MetaFilter: THE community weblog. If I could only visit one site per day, MetaFilter would be the one. I get my news, argue with know-it-alls, laugh and follow links to every corner of the Internet. You can spend hours or minutes here. In my case, it’s usually hours.

02 The Morning News: It’s not just about the news, but about the people. I hold this site responsible for turning me on to some awesome music and books. Rosecrans Baldwin (Editor) is one of the smartest writers on the web. He even responds to personal email.

03 NME: One of the best music magazines on the planet, and also one of the top sources of everything music. Period.

04 Pitchforkmedia: Indie music news, reviews and inerviews. They know what’s up and I have come to depend on their vast knowledge and, at times, droll album reviews.

05 Neumu: Bringing together some of the most talented people in the web world, Neumu showcases art, opinion, music, fiction, etc. Co-founded by Michael Goldberg, one of the web’s visionaries, he has helped to create an above par site that floats to the top of the web cesspool.

06 Dooce: She’s one of the smartest, most hillarious people I have never met. Her sporadic rants, raves, and diatribes are some of the best the web has to offer. Did I mention she has fabulous taste in music and some damn good photographic skills to boot? Well, she does.

07 Blogdex: What are people linking to in the their daily blogs? Leave it to the smart kids at the M.I.T. Media Lab to bring it to you.

08 Ironminds: A young, fresh, and enlightening look at the world. It’s news, humor and it’s smart.

09 AlterNet.org: AlterNet provides unsweetened, uncensored, objective news. It’s informative and the writing is better than most you will find on other news sites. It’s NPR meets the web.

10 Moby’s Diary: Moby speaks to the people almost every day, and sometime multiple times per day. In addition to being a tremendous musician, he’s an intelligent and real human being with good thoughts to share.

Top Sites of 2001

Among other things that I am currently “working” on, the Top 100 Albums of 2001 has turned in to a Top 50 Albums of 2001. Doing a Top 100 was a bit to ambitious. Coming up with 100 was easy enough, but ranking them made my brain hurt. So anyway, the Top 50 Albums of 2001 list has been completed. I’m in the process of making a nice presentation of it, so stay tuned over the few days for the results. Did I mention to send me your own top lists?

To keep you busy in the mean time, I’ve compiled a Top 10 Web Sites of 2001. They are:

01 MetaFilter: THE community weblog. If I could only visit one site per day, MetaFilter would be the one. I get my news, argue with know-it-alls, laugh and follow links to every corner of the Internet. You can spend hours or minutes here. In my case, it’s usually hours.

02 The Morning News: It’s not just about the news, but about the people. I hold this site responsible for turning me on to some awesome music and books. Rosecrans Baldwin (Editor) is one of the smartest writers on the web. He even responds to personal email.

03 NME: One of the best music magazines on the planet, and also one of the top sources of everything music. Period.

04 Pitchforkmedia: Indie music news, reviews and inerviews. They know what’s up and I have come to depend on their vast knowledge and, at times, droll album reviews.

05 Neumu: Bringing together some of the most talented people in the web world, Neumu showcases art, opinion, music, fiction, etc. Co-founded by Michael Goldberg, one of the web’s visionaries, he has helped to create an above par site that floats to the top of the web cesspool.

06 Dooce: She’s one of the smartest, most hillarious people I have never met. Her sporadic rants, raves, and diatribes are some of the best the web has to offer. Did I mention she has fabulous taste in music and some damn good photographic skills to boot? Well, she does.

07 Blogdex: What are people linking to in the their daily blogs? Leave it to the smart kids at the M.I.T. Media Lab to bring it to you.

08 Ironminds: A young, fresh, and enlightening look at the world. It’s news, humor and it’s smart.

09 AlterNet.org: AlterNet provides unsweetened, uncensored, objective news. It’s informative and the writing is better than most you will find on other news sites. It’s NPR meets the web.

10 Moby’s Diary: Moby speaks to the people almost every day, and sometime multiple times per day. In addition to being a tremendous musician, he’s an intelligent and real human being with good thoughts to share.