William S. Burroughs Ipsum

Word Lists: William S. Burroughs

Language is a virus from outer space. a functioning police state needs no police. artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact. most of the trouble in this world has been caused by folks who can't mind their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind, any more than a smallpox virus has. nothing is true, everything is permitted. in deep sadness there is no place for sentimentality. hustlers of the world, there is one mark you cannot beat: the mark inside. i am getting so far out one day i won't come back at all. like all pure creatures, cats are practical. a paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on. if i had my way we'd sleep every night all wrapped around each other like hibernating rattlesnakes. desperation is the raw material of drastic change. only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape. i am not one of those weak-spirited, sappy americans who want to be liked by all the people around them. i don't care if people hate my guts; i assume most of them do. the important question is whether they are in a position to do anything about it. my affections, being concentrated over a few people, are not spread all over hell in a vile attempt to placate sulky, worthless shits. language is a virus from outer space. the question is frequently asked: why does a man become a drug addict? the answer is that he usually does not intend to become an addict. you don't wake up one morning and decide to be a drug addict. it takes at least three months' shooting twice a day to get any habit at all. and you don't really know what junk sickness is until you have had several habits. it took me almost six months to get my first habit, and then the withdrawal symptoms were mild. i think it no exaggeration to say it takes about a year and several hundred injections to make an addict. the questions, of course, could be asked: why did you ever try narcotics? why did you continue using it long enough to become an addict? you become a narcotics addict because you do not have strong motivations in the other direction. junk wins by default. i tried it as a matter of curiosity. i drifted along taking shots when i could score. i ended up hooked. most addicts i have talked to report a similar experience. they did not start using drugs for any reason they can remember. they just drifted along until they got hooked. if you have never been addicted, you can have no clear idea what it means to need junk with the addict's special need. you don't decide to be an addict. one morning you wake up sick and you're an addict. (junky, prologue, p. xxxviii) nothing exists until or unless it is observed. an artist is making something exist by observing it. and his hope for other people is that they will also make it exist by observing it. i call it 'creative observation.' creative viewing. man is an artifact designed for space travel. he is not designed to remain in his present biologic state any more than a tadpole is designed to remain a tadpole. i bear my burden proudly for all to see, to conquer prejudice and ignorance and hate with knowledge and sincerity and love. whenever you are threatened by a hostile presence, you emit a thick cloud of love like an octopus squirts out ink... every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not at all to his advantage. knowing you might not make it... in that knowledge courage is born. it's the little touches that make a future solid enough to destroy. the dream is a spontaneous happening and therefore dangerous to a control system set-up by the non-dreamers that old feeling is still in my leaking heart. little raspy incurving hooks in the end, not me... like burning gasoline jelly and grow there. of the brain behind the eyes. than a crab's eye at the end of a stalk..
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