Friday, August 15, 2008

Dinosaurs by William S. Burroughs

This is rapidly becoming my new "Thanksgiving Day Prayer", something that I can read over and over and still find enlightening. It's transcribed by me from a spoken word recording and to my knowledge hasn't been published in print before.

"Dinosaurs, by William S. Burroughs

I think the political and social chaos we are seeing on every side reflects and underlying biologic crisis. End of the human line. All species are doomed from conception like all individuals. Evolution did not come to a reverent halt with homo sapiens. We have the technologies to recreate the flawed artifacts and to produce improved and variegated models for designed for space conditions. Perhaps there is still time is this being done or even considered? Back to the church the home and the family. Back to the simple American virtues that made this country great and can make this country great again. If I may be allowed a flight of whimsy involving articulate Dinosaurs:

"Fellow reptiles I do not hesitate to tell you that we face grave problems. I do not hesitate to tell you that we have the answer Size is the answer! Increase size! There are those who say that size is not the answer, there are those even propose that we pollute our reptilian strain with mammalian amalgamations and cross breading. And I say to you, if the only way I could survive was by mating with egg eating rats then I would choose not to survive. But we will survive. We will increase both in size and in numbers and we will continue to dominate this planet as we have done for 300 MILLION YEARS! Bigger is better and biggest is best!"

Armored models thump their tails in earth shaking applause. Herbiferous Dins wallow and splash in swamp bog. Carnivores bare their huge fangs dripping streamers of saliva in uproar. But a wise old Din turns sadly from the TV and addresses his offspring:

"Son, it's the end of the line. We are ugly, idiot, bellowing beasts. Some of us are sixty feet long with a brain the size of a walnut. Where can this end? In a natural history museum our bones gawked at by pimply adolescents--"Say, I wonder how big his prick was?"
---their turn.

Back to the home and the family back to simple American virtues biologically speaking the one direction you can go is back. It's the law. Dolphins lived on land at one time we know that because they have air breathing lungs. Now that they have returned to the sea it might be handy to reclaim their lost gils. No glot clum fliday An evolutionary step that involves biological alterations is irretrievable we must now make such a step if we are to survive at all. And it had better be good. I have predicted the transition from time into space will involve biologic alterations. Such alterations are already manifest. Astronauts stand to lose their bones and teeth in the thervice. If you don't use it you lose it A skeleton has no function in a weightless state. So what does the end result look like? Well...rather like an octupus or a jellyfish. Beau Bremel the restoration dandy spent hours every morning putting exactly the right crease into his cravats by lowering his chin just so. Often his valet would carry out armfuls of crumpled dennies, all failures.So we can imagine the cosmic butler carrying out bundles of unworkable monstrosities, our failures."

3 comments:

Kim Carson said...

Hello John,

To me this piece of genius William s Burroughs is remarkably funny and also so true at the same time.

I see that the posted text in your post has been "doubled" & pasted.
It´s become a sort of "cut up".
No offense meant !
It also has some typo´s or missing words.
Some words are verrry hard to make out from audio alone.

Here it is -again- from a text i got from a great teacher, when we listened to it at Englisch lessons .. ages ago :

I think the political and social chaos we are seeing on every side reflects an underlying biological crisis ..
The end of the human line.
All species are doomed from conception, like all individuals, Evolution did not come to a reverent halt with homo sapiens...

We have the technologies to recreate a flawed artifact, and to produce improved & variagated models designed for space conditions.
Perhaps there is still time.

Is this being done or even considered ?"
Back to the church, the home, and the family."
Back to the simple (American) virtues that made this country great and can make this country great again."

If I may be allowed a flight of whimsy involving articulate dinosaurs.
A wise old dinosaur addresses a convocation of his tribe: "Fellow reptiles, I do not hesitate to tell you that we face grave problems.
And I do not hesitate to tell you that we have the answer.
Size is the answer! Increased size!
There are those who say that size is not the answer.
There are those who even propose that we pollute our pure reptilian strains with mammalian amalgamations and cross-breeding.
And I say to you that if the only way I could survive was by mating with egg-eating rats, then I would choose not to survive.
But we will survive.
We will increase both in size and in numbers, and we will continue to dominate this planet as we have done for 300 million years.
Bigger is better, and biggest is best! "

Armored models thump their tails in earthshaking applause.
Herbivorous dines waddle and splash in swamp mud.
Carnivores bare their huge fangs, dripping streamers of saliva in approval.

But a wise old dine turns sadly from the TV and addresses his offspring:
"Son, it's the end of the line.
We are ugly idiot babbling beasts.
Some of us are 60 feet long with a brain the size of a walnut.
Where can this end?
In a natural history museum, our bones gawked at by pimply adolescents.
Say, I wonder how big his prick was?'
Their turn will come."

Back to the home and the family, back to simple virtues, but biologically speaking, the one direction you can't go is back.
It's the law.
Dolphins lived on land at one time; we know that because they have air-breathing lungs.
Now that they have returned to the sea, it might be handy to reclaim their lost gills.

'No glod clom fliday'

An evolutionary step that involves biologic alterations is irretrievable.
We must now make such a step if we are to survive at all.
And it had better be good.
I have predicted that the transition from time into space will involve biologic alteration.
Such alterations are already manifest.
Astronauts stand to lose their bones and teeth in the service.
If you don't use it, you lose it.
A skeleton has no function in a weightless state.
So what does the end result look like?
Well, rather like an octopus or a jellyfish.

Beau Brummel, the Restoration dandy, spent hours every morning putting exactly the right crease into his cravats by lowering his chin, just so.
Often, his valet would carry out armfulls of crumpled linen.
"Our failures."
So we can imagine the cosmic butler carrying out bundles of unworkable monstrosities: our failures.

f.y.i :
'No glot... ...C'lom fliday'.. is a phrase on the last page in the book : Naked Lunch.

Delete my post after you´ve corrected the ´lyrics´ .

Good Luck & Thanks to you !
For reminding me of this wonderfull piece of art !

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this is the Burroughs 'dinosaur' commentary I've been trying to find for years... There was something truly novel (to me) in what I'd heard way back then (not a common reaction from me. To any piece). What it was that impressed me, however, I've long forgotten.

In this transcript, then, that could only be the 'astronauts-into-jellyfish' angle; but I'm not feeling the same response to it this time `round. Maybe there's yet _another_ piece Burroughs made, involving dinosaurs..?

John Madziarczyk said...

I'm not familiar with all of the spoken word that's out there but as far as I know this is the only piece that references Dinosaurs.