Art & Autobiography

My Thanksgiving Prayer by

Each year I try to watch this great video of the legendary William S. Burroughs reading his poem “Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 1986″, and think about how I would update it. The poem is taken from the collection Tornado Alley and the video above was directed by Gus Van Sant, who had cast Burroughs as a drug-addled priest in his 1989 film Drugstore Cowboy. The video for me seems especially prescient this year and if could make my own 2011 Thanksgiving day prayers they’d go something like this:

To all the bullies who torture the queer kids so much that they decide to kill themselves.

To the people who don’t protect them from evil, because they find talking about sexuality uncomfortable, and think homosexuality is a sin anyway of course.

To all the killers of transgendered people, helping to make normal what’s gone so very wrong in society.

To the American policemen, who have been enjoying their Christmas early, giving their gifts of violence, pepper-spraying peaceful protests, kicking pregnant women in the stomach. Good Job NYPD and Mayor Bloomberg! I am thankful for you!

To corporations gleefully fracking and putting chemicals into our drinking water, and to a pipeline that would destroy our environment as we know it, to the uncleaned oil in the Gulf. You deserve our thanks.

To the American government, who’ll inevitably fail to care for the millions of shell-shocked PTSD suffering veterans who went off to fight in two unjust wars,

To corporations and goverments killing net neutrality and being able to monitor everything we do. Thank you! We want you to like us and watch us and keep us from what we want. And please keep creating new devices that push us father and farther away from being able to interact with each other on a personal level. U got it? :)

Okay that’s it. Feel free to add your own in the comments below.

Adam Baran


Adam Baran is a NYC-based writer/director with a passion for making films that tell queer stories in unique, risk-taking ways. After graduating in 2003 from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor’s degree in Film and TV Production, Adam wrote and directed two short films, Love and Deaf (2004) and Jinx! (2007), which aired in regular rotation on Here! TV and the IFC Channel in the US, respectively. Love and Deaf was released in popular gay shorts collections on DVD in the U.S., Germany and France. In 2009, Adam wrote the daily web comedy MTV Detox for That same year, he finished the feature script Jackpot, which was selected for the 2010 Outfest Screenwriting Lab and performed as a staged reading during the festival. That script led to his being asked to write the webseries The Great Cock Hunt, which is being produced and directed by Jon Marcus (Party Monster) and executive produced by Rose Troche (The L Word) and will premiere in late 2011. Adam’s work as a writer and editor began in 2004 with contributions to the groundbreaking gay journal BUTT Magazine. He became a contributing editor in 2007, had several articles featured in the BUTT Book, and was the online editor of from 2008-2011. He has also written for V Magazine, Pin-Up, Foam and the “T Blog” for the New York Times Style Section. Adam also co-curates the monthly film series Queer/Art/Film with Keep The Lights On director Ira Sachs at the IFC Center in New York. An “essential” series according to the New Yorker, Queer/Art/Film invites queer artists to screen films that have influenced their development. Past guests include Justin Bond, Antony Hegarty, John Kelly, John Cameron Mitchell, Barbara Hammer, Kate Bornstein and Genesis P-Orridge. Adam currently lives in Brooklyn and is working on making a short film based on his feature script Jackpot and writing several new features and shorts.

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