Rod Mickleburgh has a Burroughs flashback
The Beats go on in North Vancouver: Presentation House Gallery mounts visual chronicle of the era as witnessed by Allen Ginsberg
By Rod Mickleburgh
I met William Burroughs once. It was during my magical year in Paris (sigh). I’d read in Libération that morning that the legendary icon of the Beats would be at the City of Light’s annual Salon du Livre at the Grand Palais. I thought ‘what the hell’, and went down to catch a glimpse of the famous man, who had been such a part of the Kerouac/Ginsberg Beat generation of writers.
In On the Road, the book that changed my life, Burroughs appears as Old Bull Lee. An insatiable consumer of drugs, Burroughs fatally shot his wife during a crazed William Tell re-enactment in Mexico, hung out in Tangiers where the less said about his proclivity for underage boys the better, and found time to write such underground classics as Junkie and Naked Lunch, turned into a movie by the strange David Cronenberg. (My parents ...
Ai WeiWei: the unapologetic revolutionary
Ai WeiWei Film Retrospective
Never Sorry, The Fake Case
April 13, 20, 26, Rio Theatre, 6 p.m.
By Katherine Monk
In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre and subsequent mass rallies in the name of free expression, it would seem the artist’s role in society has never been more at risk. Then again, none of us lived through The Spanish Inquisition. Or, for that matter, has any real recollection of the black suit soap opera called the House Un-American Activities Committee.
Artists have a habit of winding up in the crosshairs of history because if they’re any good, they make us question the world we take for granted and see anew. “A revolution in form is a revolution in essences,” said Jose Marti, the Cuban poet, novelist and political activist immortalized in Guantanamera, a song made popular by famed protest singer Pete Seeger.
Marti’s words apply just as readily to art as it does to politics, and society as a ...
There is power in a union… If Christy Clark says it’s okay
By Rod Mickleburgh
That Christy Clark can sure be a funny premier. And I don’t mean Hamish jokes. Take the recent flare-up over who gets to build that farm-flooding, massive Site C dam in northeastern B.C. Please…
Until recently, attempts by the province’s once-powerful construction unions to secure a fair crack at the work had received no more than the bureaucratic equivalent of a bucket of warm spit from the powers that be at BC Hydro and the Liberal government’s own representatives. Not only was Hydro insisting on a construction site open to union and non-union contractors, which was not all that surprising, the Crown corporation wanted to ban the building trades from even trying to organize dam workers who were not unionized. Unions? Unions? Don’t need no stinking unions.
It was all very reminiscent of the distaste for union labour that prevailed during the 10-year premiership of Gordon Campbell. Egged on all the way by Phil Hochstein of the strident, ...
Searching for newspapers and the soul of David Carr
By Rod Mickleburgh
The late, great David Carr, media reporter for the New York Times, continued to value newspapers, even as he covered the rapidly-changing online media world that is threatening their existence with free, easily-accessible, short-attention span hits. Carr read two or three papers every morning before heading into work, and whenever he was in a new city, he relished reading the local newspaper. He said it gave him a sense of the buzz and mood of the place that no travel guide or web site provided.
I, too, always buy the local paper when I’m travelling. There is never a dearth of stories offering a glimpse of life outside one’s own navel-gazing metropolis (vote ‘Yes’).
So it was recently, as I passed through LA’s International Airport and the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta. At both terminals, I seemed to be the only person reading a newspaper. The LA Times, a slimmed-down sylph of its former bulky self, cost a buck. The ...
This started as boiler plate text, but as I type the very first words for The Ex-Press, I see Oscar was on to something: One has to look forward; the past is no longer an option… I'd tell you more but there are legal things to sort out at the moment.