FOR JOHN DILLINGER  2:29 pm November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Prayer, America!

by Ken Layne

“Thanks for a Nation of Finks,” says America’s Poet, William S. Burroughs, in this beloved Thanksgiving Prayer. (It is traditional for the head of household to recite this prayer before the Feast.) [Gus Van Sant/Google Video]

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Hola wonkerados.

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NoWireHangers November 26, 2008 at 2:33 pm

You posted this last year.

WhatTheHeck November 26, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Hey, he was the first “Bitter.”

Anonymous Office Zombie November 26, 2008 at 2:35 pm

I’m tearing up here.

Burroughs was the original Wonkette commenter before it’s time.

BillyClubb November 26, 2008 at 2:36 pm

He should add one other thing: “Thanks for not prosecuting me when I shot my wife, Joan Vollmer, in the head.”

dannygutters November 26, 2008 at 2:37 pm

I was planning on putting my copy back up in the attic with the old uniform what with this new Obama era coming.

freakishlystrong November 26, 2008 at 2:38 pm

Dear Dubya, please see above…

ph7 November 26, 2008 at 2:39 pm

Time to watch Drugstore Cowboy again.

Heywood Floyd November 26, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Clearly, Burroughs was from the Fake America.

BigDupa November 26, 2008 at 2:43 pm

Anybody know where I can get a “Kill a Queer for Christ” bumbper sticker? Think that would look good next to the “Think Globally, Act Locally” sticker.

Deepthroat November 26, 2008 at 2:43 pm

wow, 1986 sure was 1946-y

NoWireHangers November 26, 2008 at 2:44 pm

[re=186690]NoWireHangers[/re]: I’m not necessarily complaining. I think I’m more upset that my weekday routine has remained the same sad mash of blog reading/unchallenging work for over a year.

freakishlystrong November 26, 2008 at 2:45 pm

That was so cheerful I had to read it again, I feel all warm and squishy inside, I heart my fellow man..

Scandalabra November 26, 2008 at 2:46 pm

William S. Burroughs is a god. My lifelong role model.

JohnnyMeatworth November 26, 2008 at 2:47 pm

This is ultrabest. Thanks, Ken.

Atheist Nun November 26, 2008 at 2:50 pm

Wait… it is traditional to dig out my old dusty collection of cassette tapes, find the one marked ‘Uncle Bill’ and play this prayer this in my house on Thanxgiving… right before the TurHeroinDucken is served. (Am I being mocked? I can’t tell anymore.)

P.T.T. November 26, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Amen. He forgot to say Amen.

ServiceJervixJuice November 26, 2008 at 2:53 pm

“… for decent church going women, with their mean, pinched, bitter, evil faces…”

I enjoy seeing this posted every year, in various places. It’s a tradition I can support.

qaf November 26, 2008 at 2:56 pm

[re=186694]BillyClubb[/re]: He shot her in Mexico, not much chance of a US prosecution. And it seems the guilt over the accident is what propelled him into writing, but hey, who’s qualified to say if that was worth a human life. For all we know, he would otherwise have become Jack Parr’s favorite neurotic, and Oscar Levant would’ve had a new playmate.

Simony November 26, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Thanks Ken.

Squiggyfm November 26, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Grandpa? :(

Ken Layne November 26, 2008 at 2:58 pm

[re=186690]NoWireHangers[/re]: I post this EVERY year.

Ken Layne November 26, 2008 at 3:00 pm

[re=186729]Ken Layne[/re]: But not last year, actually! Because I had quit Wonkette and for two glorious months did not work here! I was never, ever coming back to Wonkette. And how’d that work out?

freakishlystrong November 26, 2008 at 3:01 pm

[re=186722]ServiceJervixJuice[/re]: They sound like those creepy apple dolls.

FMA November 26, 2008 at 3:02 pm

[re=186690]NoWireHangers[/re]: We don’t have many traditions here at Wonkette, except for the gin and the ass fucking and the TruckNutz and Cockober and Blowvember and…OK, there are some traditions here and this is one of them. It’s one of those things that makes the holiday special.

NoWireHangers November 26, 2008 at 3:05 pm

[re=186732]Ken Layne[/re]: Maybe it was Newell? Oh god, if it was 2 years ago that means I’ve been doing the same thing for–I want to cry.

Atheist Nun November 26, 2008 at 3:13 pm

[re=186732]Ken Layne[/re]: hahaha. That’s been happening to me since the Washingtonienne days. You’ll never be able to leave here, it’s like purgatory with an open bar.

CivicHoliday November 26, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Thanks for all the fish.

Theo_Mobius November 26, 2008 at 3:16 pm

Burroughs is srs bzns.

dano November 26, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Always get your holiday advice from a guy that “accidentally” shot his wife William Tell style.

2druk2phluq November 26, 2008 at 3:27 pm

[re=186741]NoWireHangers[/re]: I started when usenet and BB’s were bleeding edge. When I saw the first rendered HTML I said, “That shit will never get off the ground.” Now I fly a sign that says “Will Blog For Food.” Brilliant!

Deepthroat November 26, 2008 at 3:34 pm

[re=186752]dano[/re]: and whose sexual advances were TURNED DOWN by Allen Ginsberg

BarthexDeRosa November 26, 2008 at 3:35 pm

Bill was proof that narcotics are the key to longevity, if you do it right.

Simony November 26, 2008 at 3:39 pm

[re=186758]2druk2phluq[/re]: Yep, Usenet and local BBs then, just this past month, The Well. Sprynet, now that’s as yesterday.

BruceLee5000 November 26, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Yeah sure, but where was his AMERICAN FLAG pin?!

qaf November 26, 2008 at 3:42 pm

[re=186761]Deepthroat[/re]: You’d rather trust Michael “Savage” Weiner?

shanemcgowan November 26, 2008 at 3:48 pm

[re=186736]FMA[/re]: And Jeff Gannon and lizardpeople and Dr. Shelly Sekula-Gibbs and Walnuts! etc.

facehead November 26, 2008 at 3:50 pm

[re=186761]Deepthroat[/re]: Ginsburg was a funny slut. I had the pleasure of seeing a number of his younger lovers (i.e. undergraduates) eulogize him in the most sexual way possible.

bitchincamaro November 26, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Burroughs, Zappa, and Lord Buckley: my holy trinity; may they R.I.P.

Texan Bulldoggette November 26, 2008 at 3:51 pm

To Wonkette overlords: while amusing this is not snark-a-licious enough to tide us over the rest of today & tonight, esp. when drinking commences. Us oafs demand to be amused!

PopeyesPipe November 26, 2008 at 4:09 pm

And Magog bless us everyone!

erymanthian bore November 26, 2008 at 4:10 pm

[re=186761]Deepthroat[/re]: Was it an actual “sexual advance”? I thought he merely wanted to “absorb” Ginsberg, although he used a better word.

RonnyJim November 26, 2008 at 4:12 pm

“Minutes to go – disaster now on track – the whole fucking shithouse goes up in chunks – the technician belches softly into his bicarb – ‘these officers don’t know what buttons to push’ – anything put out til now is like pulling numbers out of your ass.” – William S. Burroughs prescient mantra-like comments on our present situation, which is always our present situation, when you look honestly at what’s on the end of every fork.

DeLand DeLakes November 26, 2008 at 4:20 pm

When I was in high school, we got to watch a sex education video that included William S. Burroughs and Alan Ginsberg reminiscing about their own sexual educations. It was unbelievable. The same video included the really fat guy from Seinfeld talking about circle jerks, so I guess there was a downside too.

nurple November 26, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Oddly, I will be celebrating Thanksgiving in the Western Lands.

J05H November 26, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Thanks for vast herds of buffalo to skin and leave the carcasses to rot. Missin’ you uncle Bill.

Simony November 26, 2008 at 4:48 pm

[re=186792]DeLand DeLakes[/re]: You’re kidding…that must have been from Heavy Petting (ASIN: B000NVL014)?

Pat Pending November 26, 2008 at 4:56 pm

I feel all warm and angry inside! mmmmm… rage…

My favorite Burroughs quote: “Any old soul is worth saving, at least to a priest, but not every soul is worth BUYING, so you should take the offer as a compliment.”

Bowdoin November 26, 2008 at 5:02 pm

My entire culture unwrapped like an onion from reading On the Road in high school. I think Burroughs was never better than as Old Bull Lee, and later Ginsberg wrote he was the first of them to speak really literate, and a quote was, “It’s an argument too starved for my sword.” I liked that. Then it was years later I came across the source: Troilus up on the Trojan ramparts, determined not to take part in some minor skirmish. I never heard the line but from Troilus and Burroughs, quoted by others. That’s the way my culture evolved, anyway.

And then there was the writer who gave us the first “psychedelic detective story” suggested by the Yage Letters, Burroughs in a dusty desolate South American village watching the town policeman on a bike circle round and round the dry municipal fountain, all the long afternoon. Stasis, was what that meant. Still does, to me.

Bowdoin November 26, 2008 at 5:06 pm

[re=186694]BillyClubb[/re]: She was such a pretty lass, early on, during those Columbia days. Then she discovered you could tear the innards from benny inhalers sold over the counter and eat ‘em by the hundreds. I think it was maybe assisted suicide, and Burroughs could always say, “Forgive me for I have sinned, but that was in another country, and, besides, the wench is dead.”

Kev-O-Tron November 26, 2008 at 5:07 pm

mmmm…. heroin… I might need to take a trip up to Capitol Hill (Seattle) after work.

hobgoblin of little minds November 26, 2008 at 5:25 pm

Goddamn, wonkette, Thanksgiving– UR doin’ it RIGHT! Burroughs has always been one prescient fucker.

“If you ever do business with a religious son of a bitch, get it in writing. His word doesn’t mean shit, not with the good lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.” WSB

I Am Not Your Gary Busey November 26, 2008 at 5:28 pm

“Death needs time like a junkie needs junk.

and what does Death need time for?

The answer is sooo simple: Death needs time for
what it kills to grow in, for Ah Pook’s sweet sake!”

DeLand DeLakes November 26, 2008 at 5:29 pm

[re=186830]Simony[/re]: Did the movie you are referring to include doctored stock footage of condoms being rolled over tank barrels, which subsequently went limp? If so, then we have a winner.

For the record, I went to an artfag magnet school in the late 1990s, which is the only reason why we had such colorful media for “Sex Day,” as we called our annual sex ed festival. Sadly, I don’t think they do it anymore.

Simony November 26, 2008 at 6:12 pm

[re=186870]DeLand DeLakes[/re]: This is called ‘force protection’. (Yes, that’s the one.)

Imagine WSB leaning against the classroom doorjamb under Whiteface peering at the red needle on the wall, speaking out to a hall: “Is everybody in? …the ceremony is about to begin!”

robanybody November 26, 2008 at 7:03 pm

1986–wasn’t that the year Voyager II probed Uranus and Ronald Reagan got his head lodged up his own ass? Ah, missin’ those Reagan days.

mothermaven November 26, 2008 at 8:36 pm

This has been my favorite Thanksgiving prayer forever…or at least since i heard it on a college radio station back in 1990. Again, this is very good during Thanksgivings with evil Republican administrations…not so much when we have hopeful rainbow president.

ellie November 26, 2008 at 8:43 pm

[re=186699]ph7[/re]: ha ha! Who put the fucking hat on the bed!

1ofUS November 26, 2008 at 10:29 pm

“To vulgarize and falsify until the bare lies shine through.”

I’m kinda chokin’ up here…seriously…

“…yes, thanks for all the memories, all right lets see your arms. You always were a bore.”

Sweeter words were never more American.

FlipOffResearch November 27, 2008 at 12:17 am

Ah Burroughs, my introduction to his writing was his play “The Adding Machine”. A thing about the futility of life, all triggered by an accountant losing his job to an adding machine. It wasn’t till I read his biography years later, that I realized how incredibly cocky the whole thing was. See Burroughs was allowed to spend his adult life as a dissolute drug addict with some pretty far out literary pretensions* because he was receiving money from his family the inventors of the adding machine. You know Burroughs office equipment.
My favorite book by him is “The Junky”. It’s the only thing of his I’ve read, beside “The Adding Machine”, that had a linear narrative. Kerouak tells about his visit to Burroughs, in Angola (I think) right across from New Orleans, in “On The Road”. Well, Burroughs tells of Kerouaks crew visiting him in “The Junky”. The same visit. The two books go together.
*In support of far out literary pretensions: the belief that you should be able to mix up the pages of your story without consequence.
Oops I forgot to be funny.

RushLickBall November 27, 2008 at 8:46 am

WSB is a whiny pussy.

hobgoblin of little minds November 27, 2008 at 12:38 pm

[re=186945]ellie[/re]: Heather Graham?

jimh November 28, 2008 at 12:32 am

[re=186732]Ken Layne[/re]: Haha Ken, You are the caretaker here. You have always been the caretaker here. I should know, I’ve ALWAYS been here. Happy Thanksgiving.

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