Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Someone sticks up for John Lurie

A small part of my conscience has been ill at ease for months. John Lurie, having been, to all appearances, rather viciously betrayed by a highly problematic New Yorker piece last year, focusing on his illness and his experiences of being stalked by a former friend, was counting on people around him to stand up for him after it was published. No one did. I did not, either. In retrospect, I think I did what I believe many people around John did: I kinda blamed him for his troubles, made excuses, and withdrew. I mean, I had troubles of my own, and the situation was not an uncomplicated one, or safe one (since challenging a stalker is an invitation to be stalked oneself), but I've felt kind of ashamed of my performance at that time, and my failure has lingered with me.

So I'm very glad to see that someone - Rick Moody - has finally DONE that work, stepped into the breach and courageously stood by Lurie in the midst of it, taking on not his stalker so much as taking on Tad Friend and the New Yorker, for their very disrespectful, glib, and treacherous handling of an awful, serious, and sensitive situation. My respect to Mr. Moody.

And to John Lurie.


Anonymous said...

Fascinating link, Allan. I remember reading this article and thinking what a bizarre piece it was (I hadn't heard of John Lurie). I found it interesting and what I remember most is it seemed like the writer was indicating a sexual relationship between the two men.
Well, my obsession (and subscription) to the New Yorker continue but with less trust in it. I do find the magazine to be rather snobbish (the writing, obviously, not the paper itself, ha) but often find the writing so good that I try to ignore that. Now Vanity Fair magazine has always seemed to me like an arrogant and bitchy gay man.
Sigh, is there no trustworthy publication? I weep.
- Karen

Allan MacInnis said...

Ah, yes, you read magazines! Check out Lurie's albums MARVIN PONTIAC'S GREATEST HITS or the Lounge Lizards' QUEEN OF ALL EARS if you want to hear how brilliant his music can be. And if you have access to back issues of Subterrain, I did a large piece - a cover story, actually, insofar as one of his paintings is on the cover - about Lurie's struggles with Advanced Lyme, called "John Lurie is Sick: Who will help?"

zed said...

It's funny I was just listening to the (great) Pontiac record yesterday for the first time in a long time and wondering about John Lurie. I thought Fishing with John was brilliant (Sad moment now as I remember Happy Bats).

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Allan. I will look for that article. And I will check out his music.
In writing news (ha) my letter to the editor was published in this week's Xtra West - how famous am I? They edited the part where I noted that I know they can't afford many staffers and that that could be a reason their main purpose seems to be about writing about male genitalia. I said that as a straight long-term reader, that is what I had concluded.Why do I keep reading it - hmmm, I think my vague obsession with all things gay. And interesting that the lesbian editor had to 'come out' with the fact that she is dating a man.
- Karen

Allan MacInnis said...

Is that Robin, you mean?(Xtra West isn't available out here in the suburbs, so I missed that - is she the one?).

Most interesting!