When Banks Are Toast …

Floating around cyberspace for at least a month and a half, via White Rabbit, this leetle coupon saver caught the staff's attention only the other day.Though we were slow on the uptake, we did notice that no toaster coupons were available to match the many lesser-known banks that failed in the last year. … [Read more...]

Words of Gratitude

Given the so-called change said to be coming to the aaaeulc, it may be seen as cynical to recall this Thanksgiving Prayer, first offered 20 years ago this week and dedicated to John Dillinger. But Uncle Bill's words of gratitude have a certain je ne sais quoi ... the ring of truth maybe? Listen or, if you prefer, watch and listen, and decide for yourself. … [Read more...]

Uncle Bill’s Words of Endearment

Have a listen to the sweet nothings William S. Burroughs offers, by way of Philip Hunt's extraordinary animation short. It was pointed out to me by Supervert. Ah Pook I'd say the film is an ideal accompaniment to Malcolm Mc Neil's "lost art" exhibition, which has been extended through January. That's Burroughs reading his text, of course. The music is by John Cale, who also performs it. It comes from "Ah Pook The Destroyer / Brion Gysin's All-Purpose Bedtime Story," the fourth track on the album "Dead City Radio." Hunt won the Media Prize for … [Read more...]

Hidden Burroughs-Kerouac Novel Surfaces;
So Does Malcolm Mc Neill’s ‘lost art of Ah POOK’

Is it something in the November air? Doubtful. Maybe it's the god of artistic collaborations wanting to set the record straight. Let's say it's strictly dumb coincidence. Whatever the reason, this month provides a happy occasion for legions of Jack Kerouac fans, to say nothing of William S. Burroughs cultists, who always seem eager for new revelations about both writers' works and personalities. And if nothing else, it will add several strong threads to their already embroidered legends. First came And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks, … [Read more...]

Bob’s Your Uncle

Because of something Ralph Nader said on Election Day -- he asked whether Barack Obama was going to be an Uncle Sam or an Uncle Tom -- I feel obliged to take note of an interview (as posted on YouTube) that Nader did shortly afterward with Fox Report news anchor Shepard Smith, who was shocked by the remark. Here's my transcription of the interview, followed by my own conclusion. I've also embedded the YouTube video because it conveys the nuances of tone, showing at least to my eyes and ears that Smith was calm, levelheaded, and wholly different … [Read more...]

Obama Book Bubble

If you think people have gone nuts for Obama memorabilia -- they bought stacks of newspapers marking the Obama victory -- get a look at the book collectors' market. With enough scratch you can pick up a boxed set of Dreams of My Father and The Audacity of Hope for a meager quarter mil. Here's the pitch: Book Price $250,000. Quantity: 1 You think 250 grand is too costly? Hey, it's signed. But if you're really looking for a bargain, check out this list of signed Audacity copies priced from $1,275 to $9,800. Not incidentally, that boxed set is … [Read more...]

The Morning After

Now that America has elected a black fist bumper to the presidency, take a look at the newspaper he has in his hand. Take a close look. The photo, shot during the election campaign, shows him carrying The Wall Street Journal. As everybody knows, the Journal's editorial page falls somewhere between Barry Goldwater and Attila the Hun. It is even further to the right than Bill Kristol, the doofus whose unreadable, once-a-week column was added to the opinion pages of The New York Times to "balance" its so-called liberals. Nevertheless, it is the … [Read more...]

Studs Terkel, R.I.P.

Oh shit. Studs Terkel has died. He was 96. He was the blackest white man I ever met. Blacker even than his lifelong friend the novelist Nelson Algren, another black man who happened to be born white. Anyway, here's what several former Chicago Sun-Times colleagues of mine had to say. Roger Ebert: "Was he the greatest Chicagoan? I cannot think of another. ... If you met him, he was your friend." Henry Kisor: "More times than I can count I was the recipient of his extraordinary personal generosity. ... He was looking out for you, not … [Read more...]