The Daily Believer: 10.23.09

The Daily Believer is your daily dose of whAUtever, a dose that grows by the second, minute, hour, who knows. Maybe there’s something going on tonight at the Gnu’s Room. Maybe there’s a volleyball game. Maybe there’s some update to The War Eagle Reader you need to know about. Maybe last night’s episode of House referenced Bo. Maybe Pat Dye’s Pants have no reserve on eBay. In other words, we’re live-blogging Auburn – town, gown, idea – and we need your help. Are you putting on an event? A show? Let us know. Know about one? Let us know. Spot Chizik at Byrons? Let us know. Did you see that episode of House? Let us know. Write to [email protected].

Check here – the same post. Check AUften.

Friday, October 23, 2009 [new posts at the top]

English graduate student Steele Campbell at the Gnu's Room.

*** Micro-interview with Steele Campbell, he of tonight’s performance of Howl at The Gnu’s Room (7 p.m., 414 S. Gay St.):

Is Howl good?
Howl has the tendency to turn people off.  Many can’t understand why this is considered good poetry and/or what point it is trying to make.  But Howl, apart from the thrilling experience of reading it aloud, challenges the way certain images work together, the way we understand phenomena and solidifies a very concrete moment of American History.  It should be read for it’s historical significance if nothing else.

When did you first read it?

Every time I read Howl is the first time.  Despite the number of times I have read it or listened to Ginsberg or others read it, I consistently find new pockets of image, or beauty, or meaning that I had never seen before.

Is the work of the Beats still viable?

This goes in line with the importance of Howl.  It was a reaction to a specific moment of American consciousness and conformity, but surprisingly, when I read Howl I am astounded at how few things have really changed.  We are still racked by the same fears, the same ambitions and still struggling to find a unique identity in an increasingly conformist society.  This is true with a lot of the other Beats as well: Kerouac, Burroughs, Huncke, even people like John Cage and Brion Gysin (who is unfortunately overlooked quite often).

Do you find that young creatives are often enthralled with the Beats (particularly Kerouac / Ginsberg) early on in their literary development,then somewhat roll their eyes at them, only to re-embrace them later in life?

Wow.  What a question.  What a question.  If I knew how to begin to answer this, I might finally understand how to read, listen, or look at the Beats.

Why was Howl was controversial?

Come listen, you’ll see exactly why it was controversial, and remember society in 1955 was more square than it is now.

Why celebrate it?

Why?  Why wake up in the morning?  Why do we insist on forming an identity?  Why can’t we accept the social pressure to become an unthinking drone?  Why do we want to be ourselves and claim that any sort of expression can possibly be our own, rather than just programmed into us by the mechanisms of power?  All these are directly concerned with why such self-expression and affirmation of identity that Howl exemplifies should be celebrated.  This is apart from any historical significance or valuation of craft. — [JH – 5:48 p.m.]

*** Wait, there actually is a volleyball game… the annual Pack the Act game … against Bama… in like, 30 minutes. War Eagle. — [JH – 5:27 p.m.]

*** More Friday night possibilities: almost forgot about The Lazybirds show tonight out at Fred’s Feed ‘n’ Seed,  Hwy. 14 in Loachapoka. Kicks off at 8 p.m. — [JH – 5 p.m.]

*** There’s been, what, nine stories / columns / stories today? And Magruder might drop some more of his science tonight. Kevin Strickland’s weigh in on Saturday night is currently anchoring the front page, Jerry’s preview of the LSU game is up at War Blog Eagle, Thor’s Weekend Viewing Guide is up, Auburn Elvis kicks off his new column fAUllow Friday with a profile of Auburn alum and Twitter-happy LPGA’er Nicole Hage! [JH – 4:46 p.m.]

*** Our Auburn girl, Kameron McDaniel, is kicking ass in round 3 of this “spirit” contest. — [J.M. – 3:13 p.m.]

*** The Gnu’s Room is hosting a reading / performance of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl by English Dept. grad student Steele Campbell at 7 p.m in celebration of 52 years of the poem’s legality – the Beat Generation classic was deemed ‘not obscene’ on October 3, 1957, two days before the eventual national champ Auburn Tigers beat Chattanooga 40-7. Then you can head over to the Hematovore show at The Indpendent (no, wait, correction — Hematavore is Saturday night, locals Noise Organization are playing tonight) or if you hurry you can catch the Auburn Theatre Department’s production of “A Beautiful End.” [JH – 12:02 p.m.]

*** If you haven’t seen it, check out J.M.’s first column in a series on movies in Alabama.

Movies filmed in Auburn — 2 Oscars; Tuscaloosa movies? — zero

Football played in Auburn — 2 Heismans; Tuscaloosa football? — zero — [JH – 10:00 a.m.]

***

Time to get sticky.
Time to get sticky.

Those not getting sticky tomorrow in Baton Rouge tomorrow can do so when Loacha gets its Poka on at the 38th Annual Historic Fair Syrup Soppin‘. Biscuits, homemade, old fashioned syrup, sweet potatoes, candy, sugar cane juice, venison stew… live music from Sweet Fern, Southern Fried Wanton (isn’t that a Monorchid song?), In Cahoots, the Heritage Singers, the Rowell Family, Saugahatchee Country and the newly-fromed dulcimer symphony known the Whistle Stop Pickers. as the a freaking blow-out, in other words. The fair opens at 7 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children. Proceeds benefit the Lee County Historical Society. More info? Go here.[JH – 9:35 a.m.]

Obviously the big news is the LSU game. I hope to have a three-cycled version of my story on the “Earthquake Game” up later today. Jerry is sure to have a preview.  Kevin Strickland probably will too. Looking for that Corn Dog thing? The rivalry’s “Night Before Christmas”? Geaux here. — [JH – 9:09 a.m.]

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