A Thanksgiving prayer from William S. Burroughs

Originally published at: A Thanksgiving prayer from William S. Burroughs | Boing Boing


Great with words, absolute shit with firearms and making good life decisions.


Once upon a time he was a voice for queer visibility and decriminalizing drugs, but now everybody is for those things and it’s hard to explain why he was ever popular


You’ve read his books, then.


I’ve listened to his records :grimacing:


On reflection, Dr Benway turned me on to the whole beat thing. Just the right mix of cynicism and nastiness for a protogoth teen. Must revisit. I’ll probably be disappointed. Douchebros spending their allowance on sex and drugs is not as alluring as it once was.


Well his work is, in my opinion, primarily important for describing ‘Control’ ‘The Control Society’ and developing strategies to combat it. His work in that area had a big influence on the philosopher Foucault and in turn Deleuze https://monoskop.org/File:Obsolete_Capitalism_--_Control,_Modulation_and_Algebra_of_Evil_in_Burroughs_and_Deleuze.pdf


I’m thankful my husband didn’t murder me.

“ But did that game of William Tell happen? History has recorded that Vollmer did indeed die by gunshot, but as to exactly how or why it happened, nobody quite knows.”

Or was it just another guy with violence issues who murdered a woman.


So I finally signed up for this. Look, I respect the words. I respect the artist (sorta, the stuff with his wife is definitely suspect as hell, and a lot of the Beat generation I’m less respectful of as a whole, since I wonder how much of it fed into the Boomer “@%@ you I finally got mine” mentality (note, wonder - don’t know, but wonder)… but we put this up every single thanksgiving here. Can’t we have a bit of hope and kindness instead? Burroughs is many things, but kind he is not. Can we try to be better, at least for ourselves this time? 'Cause his Thanksgiving prayer, while something that needs to be said, is depressing as hell, and a bit bitter. Which… yeah, I get… but I’d rather us show a little kindness right now.

Unless it’s at antivaxers. Screw those guys.
grr. didn’t mean to reply to the first reply, but to the main. Learning the system. Sigh.


“ While held on homicide charges, Burroughs told reporters that “it was purely accidental. I did not put a glass on her head. If she did, it was a joke, and I certainly did not intend to shoot at it.” He later claimed the gun had misfired after being dropped to the ground.

Fellow Beat writer Allen Ginsberg rationalized his friend’s death by concluding that Vollmer had wanted to die. Burroughs himself believed that an “Ugly Spirit” had aimed the gun at his wife.

Through a series of bribes, Burroughs managed to get released from Mexican custody on bail and fled back to the United States. Mexican authorities convicted him in absentia of manslaughter, but he was never tried nor convicted for the murder of Joan Vollmer.”

Yep. An ugly spirit. Call the ghostbusters.

Rich white guy bribes his way out of a murder charge in a developing country is so cutting edge. But it was accidental, of course.



I’m beginning to think that Thanksgiving and Burroughs are problematic and are a match made in heaven… or hell…


His books are about right for an edgelordy teen. For a grown ass adult, not so much.


He shot his wife and then changed his story and then skipped out on the trial.


I didn’t know the ginsberg thing. Amazing what one can believe if one tries hard enough. Q-anon is not alone.


It feels like it’s more about the Reagan era than anything else

“The last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams” is certainly poetic, but what does it mean, really? It’s a Golden Age fallacy, it’s something we’d expect Alex Jones to say on his radio show

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In case anyone is dealing with relatives who have gone off the deep end… here is some good strategies…


“Thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.”

Has he ever spoken about what he meant by this?

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He really hasn’t spoken about much of anything since 1997…