1914-1997, American Writer
A functioning police state needs no police.
William S. Burroughs – [Police]
Admittedly, a homosexual can be conditioned to react sexually to a woman, or to an old boot for that matter. In fact, both homo — and heterosexual experimental subjects have been conditioned to react sexually to an old boot, and you can save a lot of money that way.
William S. Burroughs – [Sexuality]
After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.
William S. Burroughs – [Weapons]
After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say ''I WANT TO SEE THE MANAGER.''
William S. Burroughs – [World]
America is not a young land: it is old and dirty and evil before the settlers, before the Indians. The evil is there waiting.
William S. Burroughs – [America]
America is not so much a nightmare as a non-dream. The American non-dream is precisely a move to wipe the dream out of existence. The dream is a spontaneous happening and therefore dangerous to a control system set up by the non-dreamers.
William S. Burroughs – [America]
Anything that can be done chemically can be done by other means.
William S. Burroughs – [Methods]
Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact.
William S. Burroughs – [Arts and Artists]
Black magic operates most effectively in preconscious, marginal areas. Casual curses are the most effective.
William S. Burroughs – [Magic]
Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape.
William S. Burroughs – [Desperation]
Humility is indeed beatness, a compulsory virtue that no one exhibits unless he has to.
William S. Burroughs – [Humility]
I feel that any form of so called psychotherapy is strongly contraindicated for addicts. The question ''Why did you start using narcotics in the first place?'' should never be asked. It is quite as irrelevant to treatment as it would be to ask a malarial patient why he went to a malarial area.
William S. Burroughs – [Addiction]
I think the ideal situation for a family is to be completely incestuous.
William S. Burroughs – [Family]
I think there are innumerable gods. What we on earth call God is a little tribal God who has made an awful mess. Certainly forces operating through human consciousness control events.
William S. Burroughs – [God]
In deep sadness there is no place for sentimentality.
William S. Burroughs – [Grief]
Intelligence and war are games, perhaps the only meaningful games left. If any player becomes too proficient, the game is threatened with termination.
William S. Burroughs – [Games]
Junk is the ideal product… the ultimate merchandise. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy.
William S. Burroughs – [Drugs]
Language is a virus from outer space.
William S. Burroughs – [Language]
Man is an artifact designed for space travel. He is not designed to remain in his present biologic state any more than a tadpole is designed to remain a tadpole.
William S. Burroughs – [Space]
Most of the trouble in this world has been caused by folks who can't mind their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind, any more than a smallpox virus has.
William S. Burroughs – [Intervention]