September Links

Beat Generation Existential Film News
1. The trailer for Running With Scissors is up. Based on this evidence, the filmmakers opted for a "gentle" treatment of Augusten Burroughs' sloppily humorous confessional, and also upped the role of Burroughs' father so as to give Alec Baldwin something to do. The film seems to be aiming for a Royal Tanenbaums type of approach, which is a few degrees tamer and sweeter than the source material. We'll have to see if audiences show up for this or not. Me? I'll catch it on cable eventually.

2. Aaron McGruder, creator of the Boondocks comic strip, is apparently pulling a Berkeley Breathed and calling it quits. Wonkette doesn't think Boondocks will be missed, but I believe they're wrong.

3. It's good to see existentialist philosopher Soren "Sickness Unto Death" Kierkegaard getting some air time in our crisis-ridden age. (Via Champion).

4. It's also good to see the late Dalton Trumbo getting some air time. Katharine Weber read from his antiwar manifesto Johnny Got His Gun at a reading I attended last week, and Rake's Progress reports on the novelist and screenwriter's controversial reception in his own hometown, Grand Junction, Colorado.

5. There's going to be a big bash at the Beat Museum in San Francisco today. The well-chosen list of participants include Michael McClure, Wavy Gravy, Jack Hirschman, John Cassady, Al "Ed Dunkel" Hinkle, Stanley Mouse and Magda Clegg, who was once the companion of poet Lew Welch and also happens, weirdly enough, to be Huey Lewis's mother. Remember: it's hip to be square.

6. I can't make it to San Francisco today, but I will be checking out this public discussion of the art of book criticism today at the Housing Works Used Book Cafe in Soho. Everybody's talking about lit-crit lately, and this promises to be a bang-up session.

7. Largehearted Boy has a great running series called Book Notes, where authors talk about the music that helped them write their manuscripts. The latest entry features David Ohle, whose new biography of William S. Burroughs' son has just been published by Soft Skull. I met David Ohle years ago when he came to New York City for a test reading of a film based on Queer by Burroughs pere; his brains and warmth impressed me greatly. More about this book here.
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