Look Me In The Eye

1. John Elder Robison, the real-life older brother of memoirist Augusten Burroughs (aka Chris Robison), has written a book about living with Asperger’s Syndrome. It’s called Look Me In The Eye, a well-chosen title for this book. The cover image, a kid with eyes squeezed tight, is quite fetching too.

John Robison was described in Burroughs’ Running With Scissors as a remote and odd genius who designed concert lighting systems for bands like KISS. It’s interesting to hear that Robison embraces the diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome for himself. Robison has also started a blog, which is how I know he’ll be at Union Square’s Barnes and Noble in New York City next Tuesday. I’ll try to catch it.

Asperger’s is a fascinating topic, especially for those of us who seem to have smidgens of it ourselves. I’ve also been long fascinated with the whole Augusten Burroughs milieu, and I’ve even researched it a bit, so I think next Tuesday’s reading is a must-go for me.

2. Several months ago a mysterious messenger began emailing me about a secretly resurgent William S. Burroughs-related project. Before he died in 1997, Burroughs had planned to collaborate with a renowned artist named Malcolm McNeill on a comic book called Ah! Pook Is Here.

I don’t know much about this project yet, but I’m looking forward to telling you more. And if you’re wondering what “Pook” (or, “Puch”) might mean, it helps to recall that Harvey, the imaginary white rabbit in the great Jimmy Stewart movie Harvey was a pooka. Donnie Darko was a pooka as well, and so was Puck in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I can’t claim to know what William S. Burroughs was thinking when he wrote the original text to Ah! Pook Is Here, but this is what occurred to me when I saw the title.

More on this project soon. Till then, here’s an excellent interview with Malcolm McNeill at Reality Studio.

3. More weirdness. Will it ever end? Apparently somebody’s going to knock down one of Charles Bukowski’s legendary Los Angeles pads, and somebody else is protesting, and somebody else wrote this funny piece about it. (Via Ed and Jeff).

4. Beckett For Babies could be the next big craze.

5. I don’t care what anybody says — Kid Nation is good TV. And probably no more exploitative of kids than Little Rascals ever was.

6. You can look me in the eye if you come to a Bowery Poetry Club poetry reading/happy hour where I’ll be reading tonight (Thursday, Sept 20) sometime between 6:30 PM and 7:30 pm. I can now reveal the special guest I’ve asked to join me for a finale duet: Mr. Edward Champion.

4 Responses

  1. Asperger’sWhen I taught
    Asperger’s

    When I taught inclusion (special/general ed), the kids with Asperger’s were my hands down favorites. They’re absolutely charming. This is probably why I liked Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close so much. I’m convinced Oskar was based on a child with Asperger’s.

  2. hiring death as a company
    hiring death as a company cop

    This is one of my favorite William S. Burroughs pieces. Click on this link and scroll down to # 6, “Ah Pook Is Here.” It’s a 12 minute audio recording of Burroughs reading. Top notch, baby!

  3. Kid NationAfter watching last
    Kid Nation

    After watching last night, this show strikes me as little more than Survivor or Big Brother with kids and a Wild West setting. But at least when the kids cry and whine, it’s much more bearable than when the “adults” do so on those other shows.

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