When Ginsberg sold clothes

Came across this ironic contrast recently, through the miracle of the internet. A poster being sold on eBay, “pinned” by someone else on Pinterest, in turn scraped by Google Image search, shows Allan Ginsberg in an ad for GAP from 1994.

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If this advertisement seems mild, even boring, consider that this was the chap who wrote “Howl”, who asked “What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?”, and got to be played by James Franco in the movie portraying the obscenity trial following the initial publication of the poem.

From that to selling Khakis, is quite a trip.

Anyway, if you care about this at all, you might also like Stanley Bing’s humorous adaption of the poem in in Fortune magazine a little more than a decade ago.

Excerpt:

who heard the idiot wind of the Street and its journals and cut and cut and cut to dance the merry monkey dance each and every quarter without fail,

who saw the sky each day glittering with a thousand thousand vested perks like tiny suns illuminated,

who wept when the false digital dawn never rose, bleeding from a hail of tiny, vicious bytes, and traded friendship for gain, as everything else was used for gain, and drank from the poisoned well so deep that in the end they could pee vodka.

(Someone should update it)

 

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