October 4th, 2010

Allen Ginsberg Moment:
An old cool interview
and a magical new film
about the Genii of the City


Recollections and thoughts about the new film HOWL are on the way.

Meanwhile peeps can comment on the man and the poem and the movie — and a very local interview from 1988 — here below.




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  1. ed says:

    Stanley Fish loves the film:


    October 6th, 2010 at 1:19 pm

  2. ed says:

    “Preventive arrests” by NYPD to prevent demonstrations from taking place began to be common during the late 80s in New York — indeed, i’ve seen at least one historian mark the ’88 riot as the watershed moment — and AG touches on this at one point in the interview, talking about Stephan, the leader of the band The False Prophets.

    I covered this in local journalism at the time. Plainclothes police were out there doing it week after week. It became a major issue in the months post riot.

    Fast forward nearly 30 years to the recent FBI raids on anti-war protesters …


    October 8th, 2010 at 11:27 am

  3. Leo says:

    “So the question is, are you able to think for your so-called enemy, and understand what their needs are? How else are you going to transform them? Otherwise you solidify them as your enemy and make a polarization. Given the nature of the world, you lose if you antagonize everybody. So are you able to think for your so-called enemy, understand what their actual needs are, as distinct from their fantasies? Are you able to understand what your needs are, as distinct from your fantasies? Your substantive needs. And are you able to work out a no-win solution where everybody wins and everybody loses. A non-competitive solution.

    It’s tough in the modern world, with all those people, with all that money.” -Allen Ginsberg

    I struggle with this- as it seems that the nature of the world has evolved.

    I would have loved to have asked Ginsberg ‘What if you are adept at identifying such needs only to find that your ‘so-called-enemy’ is as well, and has chosen to utilize your ‘humanity’ against you?

    What if you have divined the need of your ‘so-called-enemy’ and it is the ‘need’ for ‘science’ not to exist?

    What if you have divined the need of your ‘so-called-enemy’ and it is the ‘need’ for ‘truth’ not to exist?

    What if you have divined the need of your ‘so-called-enemy’ and it is the ‘need’ for ‘you’ to ‘not exist’?

    July 18th, 2011 at 2:32 pm

  4. ed says:

    Someone emailed asking if the interview text was heavily edited — in particular, if Allen was actually speaking in the long, sometimes complicated sentences the reader sees.

    The answer: Yes, he was speaking those long sentences. His text is very very lightly edited.

    He clearly had prepared himself to talk into my tape recorder, and did so in organized fashion.

    I typed out a pure transcript, gave it to him. Then we talked on the phone and he corrected some words I had misunderstood off the tape.

    But no re-writing or recasting of thoughts.

    September 5th, 2012 at 4:07 pm

  5. ed says:

    Leo ! I’m sorry for having missed and not responded to your comment.

    Your questions are good and also trouble me.

    June 1st, 2013 at 9:14 am

  6. ed says:

    Yesterday — May 31, 2013 for dog’s sake — time flew again — the now-annual HOWL festival took place in Tompkins Square, with a reading of the poem from the temp bandshell and other festivities. A very nice way to remember Allen:


    June 1st, 2013 at 9:15 am

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