Beat News: June 21 1998

1. There aren’t too many commercially-funded webzines I respect. Often a perfectly good author will become intimidated and creatively stunted when writing for a webzine with “a business model,” and will begin churning out dull, ironic, high-handed musings about the effects of Monica Lewinsky and Ginger Spice on American culture, instead of anything original or interesting.

But a couple — not many, but a couple — of these zines have a clue. Nerve, for instance, keeps itself fresh and interesting by focusing with narrow-minded intensity on a single taboo subject — sex, in all it’s creative, artistic and literary manifestations. This is a commercial website, finally, with a true reason to exist. And now Nerve has proven itself worthy of its name by publishing Steve Silberman’s ‘Allen’s Boys‘, an honest, personal discussion of Allen Ginsberg‘s famous and much-criticized sexual habits, which included lots of questionable activities with handsome young men. The author of this article was not Ginsberg’s lover but once could have been, and he blasts through a lot of taboos in laying down this soul-searching short memoir. Ginsberg took a lot of abuse for his beliefs about open sexuality, especially since he practiced what he preached, and I’m glad somebody finally wrote an intelligent, non-judgmental article about this difficult subject.

2. I’ve been holed up working on my secret project — a CD-Rom movie based on a well-known Russian 19th Century novel — for a long time now, and I’m finally almost finished. Please check back with me around July 23 for the big unveiling …

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