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October 16, 1985 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-10-16

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The Michigan Daily

Wednesday, October 16, 1985


'Every thing is upside down'

By Alan Paul
OET ALLEN Ginsberg, known
for decades for his outspoken
disdain and disregard for "the
system," is confused.
,The man whom J. Edgar Hoover's
I considered "potentially
ngerous" because of "expressions
o strong or violent anti-US sen-
tinent" as well as "conduct in-
dicating a propensity for violence and
ahtipathy toward good order and
government" can no longer com-
prehend the American scene.
"For years I thought that we were
on the verge of apocalypse," Ginsberg
said. -"Now I think we're on the brink
of total insanity - total Mr. Magoo."
|Ginsberg's confusion is prompted
by political, social, and economic fac-
ters. He sees the ruling conservatives
biehaving extremely, college students
becoming narrow minded, and a deb-
thr economy maintained by
'The conservatives are acting
wierdly radical," Ginsberg said. "In
1980, they said they wanted to reduce
the deficit and the federal
bureaucracy. Instead, we have
unheard of deficits - figures the New
Deal Democrats couldn't have
dieamed of - and an attempt to
reduce local government's power by
taking away their taxing rights. The
conservatives are not conserving
traditional American values. The
srlall farmer is being wiped out. The
old' Norman Rockwell picture, which
was the heart of the conservative
ideal, is gone. Everything is upside
Ginsberg is also concerned about
the new spirit that is overtaking
4merican youth; college students
veting for military buildup and again-
st social concerns, and more and
more young people joining neo-
conservative groups.
"The younger kids seem to be get-
ting a nasty temperament. The means
never justify the ends. The young
(conservatives) are using a lot of
deradation tactics and it's not a very
nice human quality," Ginsberg said.
The poet perceives the American
economy as so bad it is comical.
"Everyone is scared to death,"
Ginsberg said. "The whole economy
is maintained by agreement; there's

no gold standard, just paper. So,
everyone is scared to pull the plug.
The whole nation is in debt now."
Ginsberg believes that the new
"campus conservatism" stems from
several causes. It is both a response
against the mistakes of the '60s left
wing and a triumph of the "military-
industrial cooperative."
"The idiocies of the left were
agressiveness and excessive violence
and an over idealism," Ginsberg ex-
plained. People were carrying around
pictures of Mao and Castro, both of
whom were essentially creeps also."
"More importantly, however,
people today are locked into the
dynamics of the military-industrial
cooperative and can't escape into the
middle class. Military funds are get-
ting bigger while money for the arts is
virtually disappearing. Almost all
new academic money goes into
military research."
Ginsberg, who will give a reading
tomorrow night at Rackham
Auditorium, burst upon the poetic
world in 1956, at the age of 30, with the
first line of "Howl."
I saw the best minds of my
generation destroyed by madness,
starving hysterical naked.
Ginsberg and cronie Jack Kerouac
emerged from the thriving San Fran-
cisco beatnik scene and had tremen-
dous influence on the development of
the "hippie culture."
Throughout his career, Ginsberg
has been censored and criticized over
his forthright writing about his
homosexuality. He has strong words
for some of his recent antagonists.
"The Moral Majority and the
Stalinists are mirror images of each
other. Both are totalitarian, strong
arm organizations and will .not
tolerate any dissension.
Ginsberg, once the subject of exten-
sive FBI files, recently contributed to
Unamerican Activities, a book about
FBI sabotage. It details the counter
intelligence of the new left and the
FBI sabotaging of the Black Panthers
and other leftist organiztions. Many of
the FBI files were provided by the
Almost 30 years after "Howl," Allen
Ginsberg is still writing new poetry.
Recently, Collected Poems (1947-

1980), was published by Harper and
Row, White Shroud (1980-85) is due
Ginsberg has been a Buddhist for
over a decade, practices daily
meditation, and strives for "spiritual
expansion," which he feels many
people are lacking.
"I think people are restless. They
are almost forced to sell out to yuppie
values. There's less psychology, less
sensitivity. People have retreated into
themselves, their sense of emotional
expansiveness is gone. It has been
replaced by material expansiveness.
Many young people are essentially
being forced into the military in-
dustrial system. Independence and
self reliance are atrophied and that is
very un-American. It's against the
American ideal of freedom and ex-

pansiveness," Ginsberg said. Gin- trying to be John Wayne, an insisten-
sberg also believes that last week's cy on being number one all the time, is
capture of the Palestinian hijackers sad," Ginsberg said.
was hypocritical. Despite all his seemingly
"We should go around capturing depressing beliefs, Ginsberg is an up-
American terrorists in Nicaragua," beat man. Meditation has helped him
Ginsberg said. "We've practiced..remain calm and peaceful, and his
terrorism all along. The CIA has been
linked to the training of Libyan
"It is morally wrong for the ad-
ministration to get so worked up over
terrorists. Incidents have been used,
with the aid of the media, to create I4IIiiiiilIIIIIIIIIll
public hysteria in order to secure
more military money.''
Ginsberg does not believe that III'
Americans are feeling good about IIII+I)
themselves and their country, as has 'I tl'III
been widely touted. T sII ||Il llll |11IIIIIIIb I 1111181
"The American soul is sad. ThisI IIht,...I

sense of humor is still sharp. Perhaps
he summed up his views best while
discussing a long running feud with
Time magazine.
Ginsberg asked, "How can you get
mad at ignorance?"



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