February 8, 2005

hopes pinned to poses honed in men's room mirrors

* The Cream Interviews: William Burroughs. excerpts:

Q: For many contemporary rock critics and musicians, William Burroughs is rock ’n’ roll. Do you feel the same affinity for rock ’n’ roll that rock ’n’ roll obviously feels for you?

BURROUGHS: Well, yeah. (laughs) I have given them a lot of titles: The Heavy Metal Kids, The Insect Trust, The Soft Machine. There are a couple of others.

I enjoy rock ’n’ roll. It certainly is a unique and incredible phenomenon. Remember that 40 or 50 years ago, musicians didn’t make any money. They played to very small audiences in night clubs and road houses. Also, they had no protection on their records.

I’m always asking rock ’n’ roll people if they know who Petrillo is, and none of them do. Well, they wouldn’t have a dime if it weren’t for Petrillo because he organized the Musicians’ Union way back at the end of the ‘30s. And that is why they make money on their records. There wouldn’t be any white Rolls Royces or anything like that.
Q: Did Jimmy Page know who Petrillo was when you talked to him?

BURROUGHS: (laughs) No. I’ll tell you one who would know is Mick Jagger. He’s a businessman, he went to the London School of Economics.
Q: Is there any advice you’d like to give to young writers?
BURROUGHS: I have an exercise I learned from a Mafia Don in Ohio: see everybody on the street before they see you. It’s quite interesting actually because, if you see everyone before they see you, they won’t see you. And then you’ll find that somebody beat you.

* A marijuana study from National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore found that "smoking marijuana can affect blood flow in the brain so much that it takes over a month to return to normal. And for heavy smokers, the effects could last much longer." What is ridiculous is their definition of a heavy smoker: one who smokes 50 joints a day or an average of 131 joints per week. Does anyone know someone who smokes that much? And as Libby at Last One Speaks noted, NIDA depends on keeping marijuana illegal to make their money.

* Krugman. excerpt:

"You might think, given these facts, that a plan to reduce the deficit would include major efforts to increase revenue, starting with a rollback of recent huge tax cuts for the wealthy. In fact, the budget contains new upper-income tax breaks.

"Any deficit reduction will come from spending cuts. Many of those cuts won't make it through Congress, but Mr. Bush may well succeed in imposing cuts in child care assistance and food stamps for low-income workers. He may also succeed in severely squeezing Medicaid - the only one of the three great social insurance programs specifically intended for the poor and near-poor, and therefore the most politically vulnerable.

"All of this explains why it's foolish to imagine some sort of widely acceptable compromise with Mr. Bush about Social Security. Moderates and liberals want to preserve the America F.D.R. built. Mr. Bush and the ideological movement he leads, although they may use F.D.R.'s image in ads, want to destroy it."

* Reminder that The Wrens will be at the Black Cat in DC Friday February 11.


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