It’s been a hell of a year. Three great issues of Beatdom – covering sex, drugs, religion – and two fantastic novels. We hope that you’ve all had a brilliant 2011 and that you enjoy every minute of 2012 (until the Mayans rise from the dead and slaughter us all).
Archives For December 2011
Greetings, Dear Readers!
We know you have been waiting for the new issue of Beatdom to come out. Well, it is here and it is available and a lot of you have ordered your copy already at the crazy low cost of only $9.99 . Here are a few photos of the innards of this portable literary salon!
You will first notice the excellent cover art (above), which is a likeness of Krishna painted by Ed Terrell of the A.C.O.R. Gallery in Reading, PA. It is part of his series of portraits on Indian deities.
Hinduism: A Different Beat by Ravi and Geetanjali Joshi Mishra
Here we have a very interesting essay to go with that wonderful cover. Ravi and Geetanjali Joshi Mishra tell us about Hinduism and how the roots of the Beat movement actually spring from Hindu texts…which trickled down and eventually became the basis for Buddhism. The Mishras explain and show us why particular trappings of traditional Hinduism, such as same-sex relationships and the smoking of ganja to honour the Divine Entities, would appeal to our Beloved Beats.
A Short History Of Buddhism In Berlin by Zeena Schreck
Then, while you still have your Buddha on, check out what dharma has to do with the death of a fly in a new story by one of our newest contributors, Zeena Schreck. Zeena also gives us a tale of Sethian Awakening in another short story, called Lost and Found. These are great stories and we are sure you will enjoy them! Zeena is spiritual leader of the Sethian Liberation Movement and you can learn more about that at www.zeena.eu
William S. Burroughs: My Confessional Letter to the Western Lands by Nikolas Schreck
Also onboard as a new contributor is Nikolas Schreck, Zeena’s husband. The pair collaborated on the narration of the film Charles Manson Superstar. Here, Nikolas writes a letter to William S. Burrroughs, in which we learn, among other things, that David Bowie used Burroughs’ ‘cut-ups’ method of writing in his rocking LP Diamond Dogs, which was news to us! You can always learn something new in Beatdom!
Kitty Bruce on Lenny Bruce, Religion and Recovery, with Michael Hendrick
It seems like hardly an issue of Beatdom goes by that we do not mention Lenny Bruce, so this issue we are delighted to welcome his daughter, Kitty Bruce, to the pages of Beatdom. In this interview, she gives us the skinny on why Lenny had it in for religion, what it was like to grow up in a legendary showbiz household and what she is doing to preserve and celebrate the memory of her father. Comedy would not be as near the cutting edge as it is today, if not for Lenny.
Forever Stung by Michael Hendrick
Something that runs through every issue of Beatdom is wonderful artwork. The sketch of Lenny Bruce, as well as the illustration for this story, were penned by the magnificently ghoulish Waylon Bacon. This story tells how one of our beloved editors was not always a worldwise, bigtime publisher…he was a kid who fell for one of the oldest tricks between the two covers of the Bible, the lure of the Christian cult. Fans of TV’s Seinfeld will note that he was a member of what became the ‘Christian Brothers Carpet Cleaners’.
Eating The Beat Menu by Nick Meador
Since we are mentioning Art, we find still another new contributor of artwork in Kaliptus, who joined us to illustrate this story on Jack Kerouac by returning contributor, Nick Meador. Nick looks at the Jungian implications of Buddhism and Catholicism and the effect they had on Kerouac as a writer, a person and a speck of the universe.
Tristessa: Heavengoing by Paul Arendt
In a similar vein, we present you with another scholarly study on Kerouac, and the schism in his life created by his divergent beliefs in both Buddhism and Catholicism. In this essay, Arendt uses a lesser-known work of Jack Kerouac, Tristessa, to make his point and to pull examples from. If you have not read Tristessa, this will make you want to. It will also enlighten you as to Kerouac’s state of mind when he wrote it.
One and Only By Gerald Nicosia reviewed by Michael Hendrick
In some issues, certain Beats seem to get all the attention and in this issue Kerouac is King, it would seem. The absence of material on Ginsberg does not mean we forgot him. Nicosia’s book is subtitled, ‘The True Story of ‘On The Road,’ and in interviews with Luanne Henderson, who memorably rode in the car with Jack and Neal Cassady as they criss-crossed America, we find out how Kerouac’s famous novel became his undoing and how Neal became trapped in the image of ‘heroic entertainer’.
The Weird Cult: How Scientology Shaped the Writing of William S. Burroughs by David S. Wills
Back to Burroughs, here, Beatdom’s Editor-In-Chief reports on how William S. Burroughs got pulled into the web of Scientology, how it affected his writing, how he eventually because disenchanted with the sect and how he went after the group’s founder and leader, L. Ron Hubbard in a very public way. Mr. Wills continues research on this topic and will release a book on his findings, probably next year by Beatdom Books. What follows is another photo from Mr. Wills’ essay…
Then just to show that not all is serious and based on fact, we have another short story by Velourdebeast, about what can happen to a person when they have no faith in anything at all and throw themselves at the mercy of the world. Velourdebeast is a mysterious contributor from points West, who was literally born on the pages of Beatdom!
Maggie Mae and the Band by Velourdebeast
There is much more to this issue than the photos above, but we can only put so much in one post. There is lots of poetry and art that we just do not have the time or space to explain here but, on that, we shall leave you, as Beatdom does, with this last-page illustration by Waylon Bacon! Just remember that this is a print journal. While many of you enjoy it on Kindle and other platforms, there is nothing like seeing it in print. We took these photos to show that, and while some of them may not be in the best lighting, etc, we trust you all get the idea.
It seems that one of the hottest Christmas presents this year was a shiny Kindle gift card. It’s really a great idea. There are a ton of wonderful publications on Kindle these days and they can be downloaded in a matter of seconds. But the problem is – as always – what to buy, of the many, many titles out there.
Well, call us biased, but we think that Beatdom Books has some great options. Of course, there are issues of Beatdom magazine – well, only issues nine and ten. These contain some brilliant essays, short stories, and poems, so there’s a little something for everyone. What’s more, they’re dirt cheap! A copy of Beatdom on your Kindle will set you back around a dollar.
If you’re looking for a novel to curl up with over the coming cold months, think about David S. Wills’ The Dog Farm, a rum-soaked romp from the “wrong side of the world”. It’s the second biggest story from the Korean peninsula in 2010, beaten only to the punch by the death of a tyrant.
For a shorter, weirder read, take a look at Spencer Kansa’s debut novel, Zoning. A tale of magic and madness from a warped world, this wild ride will keep you glued to your Kindle all night. Beat fans will probably know Kansa from his interviews with legendary Beat figures, including his friend, William S. Burroughs.
Beatdom Ten is now on sale. This is the Religion-themed issue, which tackles topics like Jack’s back-and-forth with Catholicism and Buddhism, the role of religion in Tristessa, the influence of Hinduism on the Beat Generation, and William S. Burroughs’ decade-long dance with Scientology.
For the complete list of contents, see this page.
To buy the mag, there are several options: Either take a look at our Beatdom store, where you can also purchase David S. Wills’ novel, The Dog Farm, Spencer Kansa’s novel, Zoning, and back issues of Beatdom (PayPal required). Or, try Amazon, where you can find both the paper version and the Kindle one.
Aside from the love of guns, hard drugs, being cultural phenomenons and part-time movie stars, what did William S. Burroughs share with the Rolling Stones?
Recently released on DVD, Stones In Exile is a documentary premiered by the BBC in May. Amid the great footage of the boys (?) jamming and living at Keith Richards’ house in France, we get a gliimpse of the song-writing process that put Jagger/Richards on the pop map.
One pleasant surprise, among many, is the creation of the song, Casino Boogie.
Casino Boogie was written in the famous ‘cut up’ style created by Williams Burroughs and Brion Gysin. Words and phrases and cut from sentences and thrown into a hat. Then the cut up pieces of language are magically arranged by the forces that be and are divined by the artist, who randomly picks out the cut up pieces and puts them together into some semblance of order. Burroughs based novels on the concept, as is explained in David S. Wills’ essay on Burroughs and Scientology in the soon-to-be-released Beatdom Number 10, The Religion Issue.
Here is what Mick and Keith did with their cut ups…just click on the link below.
Beatdom Books, the publishing company behind this fine literary journal, is seeking books to publish. Check out thet submission guidelines for more details.
In 2009, City of Recovery Press (the original name for BB) put out a short poetry chapbook by Kyle Chase, once a Beatdom regular. This chapbook is no longer available. In 2010, the newly named Beatdom Books published its first two novels, Spencer Kansa’s Zoning and David S. Wills’ The Dog Farm.
Michael Hendrick’s Egypt Cemetery is slated for publication in 2012. After that we are anticipating a book about William S. Burroughs (the specific details are a closely guarded secret). Beatdom Books is primarily seeking non-fiction projects at the moment, although consideration will be given to outstanding works of fiction or poetry.
In November, Kitty Bruce, daughter and only survivor of comedy icon/legend Lenny Bruce, was gracious enough to talk to Beatdom about her father’s distain for organized religion, as evidenced in a number of his comedy routines, life at home and Lenny’s House, the twelve step rehab for women in NorthEast Pennsylvania which she started in memory of her father.
Kitty tells us about her father’s, and her own, childhood in the new Beatdom Issue 10, The Religion Issue, on sale soon.
Was Lenny a Beat?
He was called that by police and press. Allen Ginsberg organized the “Emergency Committee Against the Harrassment of Lenny Bruce” during the 1964 Cafe Au Go Go trial in New York City. Queried on the connection between Lenny and the Beats, Kitty said, “I’m very familiar with Allen, I knew Allen…if the question is, did my father sit around coffee houses and snap his fingers?…probably not…haha..”
Many reached out to help Lenny when the law was out to kill him (Vincent Cuccia, one of the New York D.A.’s who prosecuted Bruce’s last obscenity case, said, “We drove him into poverty and bankruptcy and then murdered him. We all knew what we were doing. We used the law to kill him.”) and Kitty reaches back out to help women by providing a safe, sober and nurturing environment , providing support, education and other tools necessary to stay clean and sober. You can honor the memory of Lenny Bruce by donating to The Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation, PO Box 1089, Pittston, PA 18640.
Many of Lenny’s prized possessions and memorabilia are up for sale, for those who would like to help Lenny’s House and also own a priceless item such as the typewriter Lenny used or his famously-photographed trenchcoat! Send inquiries to the address above.
Beatdom Issue 10, The Religion Issue, is coming your way in a few days. Read what Kitty Bruce has to say, along with many other fascinating writers and great work by our excellent artists!!!
Issue Ten is the Religion issue of Beatdom, and as such, pretty much everything from cover to cover concerns religion in one way or another. The list of contents is below and unlikely to change before publication. At present the editors are locked away, furiously deleting double spaces after the period, executing typos with prejudice, and altering the images by 0.01 inches.
Expect this to be in your stockings by Christmas morning, folks. It’s a-comin’.
Tristessa: Heavengoing, by Paul Arendt
Maggie Mae and the Band, by Velourdebeast
horseshit, by Cliff Weber
Eating the Beat Menu, by Nick Meador
Bamboo Cathedral, by Louis Marvin
Stephen and Catherine, by Andrew Abbott
Forever Stung, by Michael Hendrick
Walt Clitman, by Robert Lyons
Lost and Found: A Fairy Tale of Sethian Awakening, by Zeena Schreck
The Weird Cult: How Scientology Shaped the Writing of William S. Burroughs, by David S. Wills
A Short History of Buddhism in Berlin, by Zeena Schreck
Starbucks, by Erren Gerand Kelly
Kitty Bruce on Lenny Bruce, Religion and Recovery, with Michael Hendrick
Under the Influence of William S. Burroughs: My Confessional Letter to the Western Lands, by Nikolas Shreck
An Altered Boy’s Lament, by BW Archer
Hinduism, by Geetanjali Joshi Mishra and Ravi Mishra
Review by Jamie Pinnock
Over a decade following his psychedelic explosion onto the silver-screen as Raoul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Johnny Depp returns once more as the enigmatic father of Gonzo journalism, Dr Hunter S. Thompson, in an adaptation of one of his most revered novels, The Rum Diary. Directed by Bruce Robinson, famous for his atypically British cult classic Withnail and I, The Rum Diary sees Depp playing Paul Kemp, a young idealistic writer-turned-journalist who finds himself in the chaotic Caribbean climes of late-1950s Puerto Rico, working for the failing island newspaper, the Daily News.
Before long, Kemp joins the motley crew of vagrant and nonconformist American journalists working at the News, forming an affable on-screen partnership with photographer Bob Sala (Michael Rispoli). Kemp soon moves into a grubby apartment in the centre of the island with Sala and another journalist at the Daily News, the ultra right-wing Moburg (Giovanni Ribisi), whose propensity to severe inebriation soon engulfs both Kemp and Sala. In escapades fuelled by the ‘Moburg Bivocal’, a 470-proof home-brewed rum, the three journalists suffer frequent imbroglios with the lawless locals and the island’s corrupt police force, and even an encounter with Moburg’s hermaphrodite witchdoctor. This lethal medley of alcohol-consumption is surpassed only by Kemp and Sala’s introduction by Moburg to ‘the strongest narcotic known to man’, a brief psychedelic interlude that bears obvious allusions to scenes in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Yet, there exist two sides to The Rum Diary‘s Puerto Rico: one of alcoholic excess, struggling journalists, and lawless locals; and the other which is dominated and monopolised by the atavistic and hedonistic elite of American society, constructing their American Dream on the Caribbean coastline. Struggling at the Daily News, Kemp is hired by Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart), a scheming American businessman, and soon bears full witness to the corruption and decadence of ‘Great Whites’ of American society. Through Sanderson, Kemp meets the stunning Chenault (Amber Heard) and becomes fully embroiled in a highly destructive love-triangle, soon becoming overwhelmed by his romance with the young beauty, who fully reveals to him the darker side of the hedonistic American Dream during a dramatic festival on the neighbouring island of St Thomas. While Chenault remains with Kemp fleetingly, she soon returns to New York, spurning both Sanderson and Kemp. By the end of the film, with the inevitable closure of the Daily News, Kemp is left jobless and destitute, but a changed man. He leaves the Caribbean loathing those ‘bastards’ who perpetuate the American Dream, the dark side of which he has borne full witness to, and having found the ‘voice of ink and rage’ that he was searching for.
Although the The Rum Diary may arguably lack pace at points, the film is a highly entertaining one. Robinson instils the motion picture with moments of pure madness, hilarity and insanity, and creates an authentic feel of Puerto Rico at the turn of the Sixties with some truly stunning shots of the island’s scenery and a classic soundtrack that resonates with the energy of the Caribbean. Both Eckhart and Rispoli give very convincing portrayals of the atavistic Sanderson and the down-and-out, but down-to-earth, Bob Sala. And let’s not overlook Amber Heard, whose radiant performance as the heavenly Chenault will surely absorb many a male viewer. But particular praise must be given to Giovanni Ribisi, whose frenetic portrayal of Moburg, whose recklessness is a portent into the darker side of the excesses of the journalistic life itself, who at many points in the film steals the show. Ultimately, however, The Rum Diary is a testament to yet another captivating performance by Johnny Depp, whose long-awaited return to the silver-screen as Hunter S. Thompson does not disappoint.
But for the more zealous fan of Gonzo, for the true Fear and Loathing fanatic, whether you consider HST a cult hero, a literary genius, or even if you just look up to him recreationally, does it feel like there’s something missing from The Rum Diary? Compared to the lethal medley of alcohol abuse, chemical-induced frenzies and psychedelic rampages that grants Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas its much-deserved cult status, The Rum Diary seems ironically sober. But it is in this manner that Bruce Robinson has created a highly reputable motion picture, staying true to the essence of the novel. The Rum Diary is a precursor to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, showing the young idealistic Thompson trying to find his literary voice. A voice that, just over a decade later, erupts in all its glorious acrimony in the pages of Fear and Loathing, pitted against the same depravity of the American Dream that he first encounters during his days in Puerto Rico. Bruce Robinson’s final message to the viewer thus encapsulates the very essence of The Rum Diary: ‘This is the end of one story. But it is the beginning of another’.