The Sultan of Sewers
I was William Burroughs' companion for 23 years, and for about 17 years I have been the executor of his estate. I'd like to send my sincere compliments on Jesse Walker's review of Barry Miles' Call Me Burroughs ("The Sultan of Sewers," July). Very insightful—into Miles' book and into the life and thoughts of William S. Burroughs.
I especially commend his notes on Jack Black's You Can't Win and the role that Rose Wilder Lane played in Black's literary career. As a longtime student of Black's life and works, I strongly suspect that Lane had a hand in the composition of You Can't Win. Also, that it is about 25 percent fanciful. It's a great book all the same.
Readers interested in a closer examination of William's attitudes in the period of April 1946 to December 1952—with special reference to his notes on Westbrook Pegler, FDR's "court-packing," the bracero workers' program, and his self-image as an hard-drinking gentleman farmer in east Texas and the Rio Grande Valley—should have a look at my good friend Rob Johnson's The Lost Years of William S. Burroughs (2006).
William S. Burroughs Estate
You Can Never Drive
I note with interest that pot advocates ("You Can Never Drive," July) are coming up against the same issue drinkers have dealt with for years: Pot affects different users differently, therefore "impairment" can't be determined via the expedient of simply looking at ratios of certain substances in a user's blood.
While the town librarian who ties one on once a year might be giggling hysterically at .08, those of us who have knocked back heroic quantities of hooch for decades would scarcely notice the effect at that level. The same is very obviously true of marijuana enthusiasts.
Sean M. Smith
Cottage Grove, OR
CORRECTION: "Insider Trading Everywhere!" (Citings, October) a George Mason economist's name was misspelled. It is Henry Manne, not Henry Mannes.
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"It'll be even more difficult to get a sensible laissez faire policy towards marijuana on the books than it was to get it to be ostensibly legal. The current status awards the state untold amounts of power of users and producers. And if governments will do any one thing well, it is to preserve their own power for it's own sake. There is no reasoning with them, there is only reasoning with the multitude [of] fools who give government power its teeth."
–reason.com commenter "Free Society" in response to "Washington's Legal Marijuana Mess" (July)
"I think the author oversells the value of the camaraderie here. However, since no criminal act is required in order to become a Juggalo, there is no valid reason to treat them like a gang, even if you accept the premise we ought to treat gangs a certain way."
–reason.com commenter "Kevin47" in response to "Government vs. the Juggalos" (July)
"Maybe it was growing up with parents with high-profile (within their industry, not celebrity stuff) jobs, but I was taught from a young age to always assume I was being recorded. Privacy is dead."
–reason.com commenter "BilboTeabaggins" in response to "Welcome to the Naked Future" (July)