Letters to the Editor

Letter: No role model

February 26, 2014

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To the editor:

William Burroughs is not a good role model for young people and his life and works should not be honored or celebrated in any way. Burroughs had a lifelong addiction to opiates — first morphine and later heroin — and actively promoted drug use. He murdered his common-law wife in Mexico for which he was convicted in absentia for culpable homicide after fleeing that country. In 1949, he became an international gay playboy using his grandfather’s fortune. He molested underage boys in Morocco and became a sex offender.

His book, “Junkie,” a semi-autobiographical novel glamorizing drug use, has little literary value critics say. Burroughs’ “Naked Lunch” is a fragmentary collection of “routines” using a cut-up and fold-in technique. Critics question the technique and its literary value and many claim it is simply gibberish. Writer Lynn Snowden Picket accurately describes Burroughs’ books as “phantasmagorias of buggered boys, bloody syringes, talking a-holes, and vaginal teeth.” Ironically a city park and trail popular with Lawrence children is named after a sex offender. We can do better than that.

Comments

John Hoopes 1 year, 4 months ago

"So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." (John 8:7)

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 4 months ago

Huh?? What???? Who?? I don't get it. How does this tirade affect the price of milk???

Beator 1 year, 4 months ago

What would John Waters say?

John Waters, a high-profile and provocative filmmaker and writer.

John Waters, a high-profile and provocative filmmaker and writer. by Mike Beaton

James Howlette 1 year, 4 months ago

Ah yes. I remember walking down Mass street in the 90s to see Burroughs shooting up smack in front of Terra Nova and then accidentally murdering the tourists.

Bob Smith 1 year, 4 months ago

I'm amazed you are so intolerant of the differently pleasured, Clark.

Clark Coan 1 year, 4 months ago

Jesse James is a popular folk hero who in reality was a vicious serial killer who enjoyed killing innocent people. Is he a good role model?

Beator 1 year, 4 months ago

Exactly. In fact. Bill Clinton is another popular folk hero who in reality was a vicious womanizer who used women for his sexual pleasures. He epitomized sexual harassment in the workplace with his power. Is he a good role model?

Rich Noever 1 year, 4 months ago

Probably no Lawrence creeks to name after him.

Rich Noever 1 year, 4 months ago

If only Jesse was literate and could have written gibberish, the intellectual and artistic community in Lawrence would probably fall all over itself to celebrate him. Evidently, killing or sodomising another human being doesn't count when picking heroes in Lawrence.

Bob Zimmerman 1 year, 4 months ago

But, but, but where in the heck is "Steely Dan"?

John Hoopes 1 year, 4 months ago

Jesse James actually was literate and even fairly well-read. As Woody Guthrie said, "Some will rob you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen." I don't think one needs to look far to find public praise and commemoration of robbers who did--and do--much more harm than James.

Beator 1 year, 4 months ago

What's that make Obama? He doesn't have a "six-gun" but he does have a "pen" and a "phone".

President Obama has a new phrase he's been using a lot lately: "I've got a pen, and I've got a phone."

http://www.npr.org/2014/01/20/263766043/wielding-a-pen-and-a-phone-obama-goes-it-alone

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