Sunday, April 02, 2006

Time Life

I saw William Burroughs read in Boston, Probably around 1975. He'd just come back to the U.S. after many years. It was at the Charles Street Meeting House, and I, as student journalist, engaged him with questions afterward.

The one question I recall asking: "Is the U.S. more of a police state today than it was when you left?"

The answer was: "No." and he looked me in the eye, and up-raised an eyebrow in some surmise, and continued: "It's much looser now. It was much more uptight then."

Maybe in my query I was thinking of what he said in an interview about Time-Life and time as a police apparatus back in the mid-50s. There was a connection between Yale, and CIA, and Time. And Burroughs was especially aware of this.

Here is the partial text of the interview which is also offered as a podcast, below.
Burroughs:

Q: What do you think of Time Publisher Mr. Luce?

A: I don't admire him at all. He has set up one of the greatest word and image banks in the world. I mean. There are thousands of words about anything and everything. All in his files. All the best pictures go into the files of course. They are reduced to microphotos now.

I have been interested in the Mayan system, you see. Which is really a control system.

Their calendar postulated really how everyone should feel at a given time. With lucky days and unlucky days, etc. and I feel Luce's system is comparable to that. It's a control sytem. It has nothing to do with reporting. Time is some sort of police organization.


Removed...a podcast version of this passage...we are remoiving old podcasts to make room for new ones...

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