To the editor:
Unfortunately, it is not just the John Waters “crazies” in Lawrence who idolize William Burroughs. The Lawrence Arts Commission is holding a two-month celebration of Burroughs as a “creative observer.” The Kansas University Library recently bubbled about its “good fortune” in having received Burroughs’ journals. The city honored Burroughs with the development of the Burroughs Creek Trail. Clearly Lawrence has fully embraced this counterculture radical.
Like many left-wing radicals, Burroughs was given a privileged life in America. He was an heir to a corporate fortune and the recipient of a Harvard education. Liberals will embrace a “one-percenter” if he is critical of America. Liberals will also overlook many disturbing facts about Burroughs including that he was convicted in absentia of killing his wife in Mexico. Even his version of the killing would be second degree murder in Kansas. Where are the outcries from the “war on women” crowd?
Rather than celebrate Burroughs, I wish Lawrence would celebrate a working class Kansan who protected Burroughs’ right to ridicule America. I know it will be unpopular so let’s start small: a park bench for Dwight Eisenhower.