Wednesday, January 14, 2015

#JeSuisCharlie III: Solidarité

Both the NYT and WaPo are part of my daily news-gathering routine, so they are often both open in my navigator.

I captured this screen-shot quite by accident while trying to figure out how the "Imp écran" (French keyboard!) button works best when there's a second screen (vital when I do translating work) jacked into my laptop.

Anyway, seeing this image pop up unexpectedly made me feel compelled to follow the dictates of chance and share it.

The Gid and I don't want to live in a world where we censor ourselves out of fear -- either fear of insulting someone or fear of reprisals.  I'll go out on a limb and guess most artists and writers feel the same aversion.  So, in solidarity with our extended tribe, on the day Charlie Hebdo bravely hits the newsstands, we'll say "Je Suis Charlie" -- "Nous Sommes Charlie" -- here on LoS one last time.

It ain't much, but it's something.

Lysol & Lettuce: El Hombre Invisible al Supermercado

Kick that Lysol habit, man
I think it was in 2001 -- I'd discovered an interesting piece of Burroughsiana for sale by a guy who'd been Uncle Bill's neighbor in Lawrence, Kansas during Burroughs' twilight years:  A target used by Burroughs and signed in his distinctive-if-shaky scrawl:
William S. Burroughs, 45 Long Colt
7 yards
July 6, 1997, Monday
 [The date and the day don't match though -- 07/06/97 was a Sunday -- peu importe!]

This was approximately a month before Burroughs' death and the shooting is good for a man of 83:   5 shots are grouped vertically within 5 cm around the bulls-eye with two halfway in the bulls-eye itself, top and bottom, dead-center, and two others nearly on top of one another, forming one oblong hole slightly left-of-center. A 5th shot is a bit lower and also slightly left-of center.  Only one of the six shots is out of the group, 7 cm towards the edge of the red part of the target -- but he got points for it.

I was able to verify the legitimacy of the target with a few well-placed phone calls, I was single and had a decent income, so I bought it. I thought I'd been ripped off after a few weeks had passed, but it finally did arrive and with it, a few extras: a bullet casing from one of his shots at this very target, a small square of wallpaper from his bedroom (even the seller acknowledged that was weird, but some fans get into those kids of things), an empty methadone bottle (!), unfortunately with the sticker scraped off, and this, a shopping list.

So, I can say I have an original Burroughs manuscript, in his own hand! hehe. True marginalia, but I'm glad to have it....

The list is pretty un-exotic, just some staples, but I think WOODARD is a reference to artist David Woodard, who lived in Lawrence in '97, collaborated with Burroughs, and produced several custom Dream Machines.

A bit ridiculous, I know, but it's been rolled up in a mailing tube for almost 15 years and since I'm on a framing kick, I thought I'd share this most mundane bit of marginalia before it gets put under glass.

What the hell, right?  Why not?