The Great Writing Caper

William S. Bur­roughs often sug­gest­ed that one’s dreams are a valu­able tar­get for the writer to plun­der. But what he nev­er said, nor made explic­it, was how the dreams of oth­ers might pro­vide a writer with direc­tion and mate­r­i­al. And yet it hap­pened to him: the dream of a lit­er­ary char­ac­ter, as it occurs inside a nov­el of the past, appears to have giv­en Bur­roughs a mas­sive trea­sure cache.

The dream is Raskolnikov’s, in Crime and Pun­ish­ment. And it brings William S. Bur­roughs to life. His whole oeu­vre seems to spring from it, is out­lined in the pas­sage…

First pub­lished in Emp­ty Mir­ror.

The Alt-Right Is Woke

We didn’t know what to expect. Between the eight us there were only two bul­let­proof vests. And we all had our girls to wor­ry about. As Loren Feld­man the film­mak­er said, they were “uncon­trol­lable” and insist­ed that they remain in the thick of it. One of them’s preg­nant. So a hand­ful of us drove out to a mall in sub­ur­ban Cleve­land to pre­pare. We took a green Kia Soul that, for the week of the 2016 Repub­li­can Nation­al Con­ven­tion at least, was an alt-right Pepe mobile, fat-lipped grin on the front grille made from two strips of wide, rose-col­ored rub­ber. Not every­one knew their memes; you either got it and smiled or you just didn’t see.

First pub­lished in Got­News.

Twitter Breathes New Life Into Orwell

It began with­out notice or warn­ing: reports pil­ing in of peo­ple sud­den­ly banned for their beliefs, ques­tion­ing jour­nal­ists hav­ing their IDs unver­i­fied, minor­i­ty voic­es pushed off to the shad­ows. This led to a gen­er­al Fear all around. In the back­ground, war drums were beat­ing. After sev­er­al days of sud­den bold strikes, there’s real­ly no ques­tion: Twit­ter — the com­pa­ny — is wag­ing a total ide­o­log­i­cal war to nar­row the range of per­mis­si­ble thought …

First pub­lished in The Dai­ly Caller.