Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted...

Brion Gysin (L) and William S. Burroughs (R) looking into Gysin's 'Dream Machine.' The two were lifelong friends and artistic partners in crime.

I've been terrible about updating my blog lately, and it's sure not for lack of events worth writing about.

As I write this, Canadian fighter jets are participating in an international effort against Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. A bit of a change from Canada's last government under then Prime Minister Paul Martin, who was happy to shake the man's hand in order to gain a footing for Canadian businesses in Libya. News outlets discovered Canadian engineering firm SNC Lavalin had been contracted to build a prison in Tripoli, which the company defended by claiming it would be the first Libyan jail, "to be built to international human rights standards." Make of that what you will.

Toronto City Councillor Michael Thompson expensed $300 to have his office blessed by the pastor of a Baptist Church. Since when do you have to pay a priest to bless a space? And can I still pay to have all of my sins forgiven?

And this past Friday, after a long week at work, I was very much looking forward to Hey Rebel! , a rave / dance party organized by Toronto party promoter Matt Sims. I know Sims a little and have been impressed with events he has thrown in the past. He's got a knack for choosing good venues and coming up with fun, novel themes. This event, however, did not pass muster.

Arriving at 10:00 p.m., I waited, then waited some more. At about quarter to 11:00 p.m. everyone waiting was told that the venue was 'still under construction' and the event was being moved across the street. I waited until just after 11:00 outside this new venue while security guards barked at people to move off the sidewalk. I found an e-mail in my Inbox the next morning explaining away Friday's train wreck and promising refunds to everyone who had purchased a ticket. Since this, Matt (or someone who works for him) has been dutifully censoring any Facebook postings indicating the event was a flop. The event page itself was promptly deleted. Bad form Mr. Sims!

To end this odd grab bag on a positive note, a documentary I've been waiting ages for is finally coming out on DVD.
Yony Leyser's William S. Burroughs: A Man Within, is coming to DVD in Canada on April 5. It chronicles the life and times of author, counterculture hero and firearms enthusiast William Seward Burroughs, most famous for his novel Naked Lunch, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. This documentary is something no Burroughs aficionado will want to miss.

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