Weekend links 475

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Femme avec des fleurs (c. 1912) by Romaine Brooks.

• “Boring people tend not to exile themselves to rocky islands, but even among the intriguing personalities we encounter in Capri, some individuals prove more extravagantly memorable than others.” Steve Susoyev reviews Pagan Light: Dreams of Freedom and Beauty in Capri by Jamie James.

• “The Mad “idiots” subverted the comic form into a mainstream ideological weapon, aimed at icons of the left and the right—attacking both McCarthyism and the Beat Generation, Nixon and Kennedy, Hollywood and Madison Avenue.” Jordan Orlando on a world without Mad Magazine.

• RIP Sam Gafford, Paul Krassner and Rutger Hauer. Related to the latter: Hauer’s first role as Floris, the hero of a Dutch TV series directed by Paul Verhoeven.

I cannot tell you what it does to me to hear pre-Stonewall. And even in our literature, even in the art, pre-Stonewall, post-Stonewall. I wrote three books pre-Stonewall and a dozen more post-Stonewall. There’s no demarcation. Gay history is centuries and centuries from the Romans to the Greeks to Oscar Wilde to all kinds of outrages. And those seem to be put back and pre-Stonewall is passive. Post-Stonewall is brave and dignified. I actually have heard things like that. I’ve talked, I’ve lectured and I’ve been invited all the way from Harvard to USC. And I talk about what it was like, what we had to survive.

Look, pre-Stonewall produced Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Oscar Wilde, and I could go on. Post-Stonewall produced Bret Easton Ellis, who jumps out of the closet only now and then and then rushes back in, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, where we’re reduced to clowns for straight people. The husband of Mr. Buttigieg, he is so darling talking about the silver he’s going to be choosing for the White House. It embarrasses me, it embarrasses me very much because that’s what people expect a gay man to do, to be very precious, and that’s not what we are. A good solid queen I will protect forever, they are heroes.

A lot of people think that everything stopped, everything, all harassment stopped. Look, it’s still going on. It’s still going on, for god’s sake. The same tactics are often used in a different way.

John Rechy talking to Jason McGahan

• The genius of Barry Adamson: An exclusive interview by Paul Gallagher at Dangerous Minds.

Three hours of the Prophecy Theme from Dune (by Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois & Roger Eno).

Ed Sanders on why pop culture still can’t get enough of Charles Manson.

• Havelock Ellis takes a trip: Mike Jay on peyote among the Aesthetes.

Darren Anderson on why little works of architecture deserve respect.

• Mix of the week: Stephen O’Malley presents / Java / Apr 27 2017.

Phil Hine reviews Folk Horror Revival: Urban Wyrd 1 & 2.

John Waters revisits “The Golden Age of Monkey Art”.

I Must Be Mad (1966) by The Craig | The Day My Pad Went Mad (1982) by John Cooper Clarke | Yesterday, When I Was Mad (1993) by Pet Shop Boys

MMMM

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Post number four thousand coincides with Roy Batty’s birthday, so happy birthday, Roy. Best not wish him many happy returns… It’s also David Bowie’s birthday and album release day but he’s receiving enough attention for that already.

WordPress always sends a statistics summary at the end of each year. The stats for 2015 looked like this:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 900,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 39 days for that many people to see it.

The busiest day of the year was January 18th with 3,460 views. The most popular post that day was The gay artists archive.

No surprise about the most popular section of the site which frequently gets double the traffic of any single post. Input to that section of the blog has fallen off over the past year but I do have a couple more posts lined up when I get a spare moment.

These are the posts that got the most views in 2015.

1 The art of NoBeast June 2007
2 The art of Takato Yamamoto June 2007
3 Phallic casts 2011
4 Compass roses August 2011
5 The art of Thomas Eakins, 1844–1916 March 2006

The phallic casts post had a huge spike of traffic on New Year’s Day for some reason. Some of the attention for these posts will be from Facebook but since I don’t have an account there—and Facebook also hides their referral details—you can’t be certain. As always, my thanks to everyone who takes the time to read and to comment.

The Last Words of Dutch Schultz, a film by Gerrit van Dijk

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Gerrit van Dijk’s combination of live-action sequences and rotoscoped animation is tangentially related to William Burroughs, it being Burroughs who popularised the deathbed ramblings of New York gangster Arthur “Dutch Schulz” Flegenheimer with a “fiction in the form of a film script” also entitled The Last Words of Dutch Schultz (1970).

Flegenheimer was gunned down in the toilet of the Palace Chop House in Newark, New Jersey, in October 1935. Three of his associates had also been shot but he survived, and he spent two days muttering in his hospital bed while a police stenographer took notes. Burroughs was fascinated by the dissociated stream-of-conscious nature of the transcript which revealed little about his assailants but drifted feverishly through memories and hallucinations. The shooting and the deathbed ramblings were further popularised in 1975 by the publication of the Illuminatus! trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson in which some of Flegenheimer’s more surreal pronouncements—”A boy has never wept nor dashed a thousand kim”—acquire occult significance. Flegenheimer and his last words also turn up in Exterminator! (1973), and Burroughs further fragmented the transcript in at least one of his own recordings where he reads out the equally strange phrases from transcripts of so-called electronic voice phenomena over an earlier reading of Flegenheimer’s words; the voices of the (supposed) dead wiping out the voice of the dying.

Burroughs’ Last Words of Dutch Schultz is nicely presented in its original form, the pages being laid out like a screenplay interposed with crime-scene photos from the period, Flegenheimer’s mug-shots and Art Deco graphics. The scene descriptions range through Flegenheimer’s life and mob history; whether they would make a good film or not would no doubt depend on the director. A film based on the script would be feature-length, and the narrative is a very fragmented one. Gerrit van Dijk’s film runs for 23 minutes and takes a similar approach, dramatising the shooting from different angles while juxtaposing the live action with animated sequences that are often anachronistic. Rutger Hauer supplies Flegenheimer’s dying voice. The anachronistic moments don’t contribute much unless we’re meant to regard Flegenheimer’s fever as being some kind of precognitive vision. Given the nature of the material—Depression-era gangsters, hallucinations, the Burroughs connection—I’m sure this won’t be the last film we see on the subject.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Burroughs at 100
Nova Express, a film by Andre Perkowski
Decoder, a film by Jürgen Muschalek
The Burroughs Century
Interzone: A William Burroughs Mix
Sine Fiction
The Ticket That Exploded: An Ongoing Opera
Burroughs: The Movie revisited
Zimbu Xolotl Time
Ah Pook Is Here
Jarek Piotrowski’s Soft Machine
Looking for the Wild Boys
Wroblewski covers Burroughs
Mugwump jism
Brion Gysin’s walk, 1966
Burroughs in Paris
William Burroughs interviews
Soft machines
Burroughs: The Movie
William S Burroughs: A Man Within
The Final Academy
William Burroughs book covers
Towers Open Fire