There's been one friend missing from my MySpace friends list for a long time and I couldn't figure out who it was. That's what it's like when you approve every invisible muso who's looking for a bit of cheap publicity. I have scores of people on my list who I haven't heard a word from since I added them.
Today, though, I worked out who was missing. It's Allen Ginsberg, my all-time favourite poet, a large b-&-w picture of whom hangs over my fireplace. He just vanished from my list and he didn't even say goodbye. How rude!
It got me wondering. Have I offended somebody in the Ginzy camp? It seems the only possible explanation.
I did, after all, publish a poem at the ULA site slamming the Ginsberg Estate.
I did publish King Wenclas' essay about the ULA's protest at the Columbia HOWL FIFTY shindig last year.
And I did, to be fair, publish Jonah Raskin's essay on the Estate's efforts to control, manipulate and profit from, the posthumous image of their boy Allen, then bring to the attention of my readers at Wholly Communion when Raskin was subsequently pulled from a radio debate with Estate big noise and Ginsberg biographer Bill Morgan.
I have also sent out a few letters asking Beat personages whether they believe there is a blacklist of "difficult" authors like Gerald Nicosia, Jonah Raskin and myself (among others) being operated by the Estates of Kerouac, Ginsberg and Corso. The rumours, after all have been going around for years.
But the Kerouac MySpace page hasn't deleted me from its list. Our early friendly contact has ceased, but to be fair that could be as much my fault as theirs. I have a lot of correspondence to get through, and it's easy to let one drift.
Perhaps I am being paranoid. Maybe I am being unfair. Surely the Ginsberg Estate isn't so dictatorial, so sensitive to criticism, so determined to control how Ginsberg is perceived by the world, that they would delete from something as unimportant as a MySpace friends list one minor publisher whose only crime is the failure to kiss ass with sufficient enthusiasm?
Of course, the Corso page wouldn't even approve my request to be added to their friends list in the first place. But who pulls the strings at the Corso Estate?
Yeah, okay guys, it's paranoia. I've smoked too many holy roaches through all those years when I was studying the Beats. Everybody's nice. Everybody's friendly. Everybody loves pink fluffy bunny wabbits.
How the hell did we get here from young men writing revolutionary poems for each other's eyes only in Skid Row hotels in the 1950s?