The Sporadic Beaver

Personal Faves: Volume II

February 14, 2013

Tags: Slate, pornography, Izzy Singer, Ken Kesey, John Babbs, Joseph Heller, Catch-22, Traci Lords, Beaver Street

This week I've been celebrating the third anniversary of The Daily Beaver with a look back at the ten most popular posts and a selection of some of my personal favorites. As I was putting together Volume II of my personal faves this morning, it reminded me that anniversaries also serve a practical purpose: They are a time to take stock, evaluate, put things in perspective--to see what's come out of this three year frenzy of writing, promotion, and travel. So, once again, here's a random selection of blog posts that caught my eye.

The Business of Smut: Critique #2 (June 15, 2011)
A review of "Hard Core," by Natasha Vargas-Cooper, one of the articles Slate selected as an example of great writing about the porn industry.

The Real Life of a Beaver Street Character (July 15, 2011)
Izzy Singer steps out of Beaver Street to publish a shocking pornographic e-book.

Still on the Bus (Aug. 4, 2011)
A review of Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search for a Cool Place, and a tribute to my friend John Babbs, who passed away last year. I ran this photo essay on my other blog, Maiscott & Rosen, because you can't run multiple photos on The Daily Beaver.

Yossarian Taught Here (Aug. 18, 2011)
A memoir by Joseph Heller’s daughter, Erica, prompted me to jot down some of my own memories of Joseph Heller, author of Catch 22, and one of my creative writing professors at City College.

The Trials of Traci Lords (Jan. 10, 2013)
A further exploration of one of the main subjects of Beaver Street: At age 44, the once underage porn superstar seems to have stopped complaining about being “exploited.” Instead, Lords complains that people won’t let her forget her X-rated teenage exploits.

Tomorrow, Volume III

Still on the Bus

August 5, 2011

Tags: Magic Trip, John Babbs, Merry Pranksters, Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady, LSD, Further

John Babbs was a freelance writer I worked with when I was editing porn magazines. If his name rings a bell it's because Babbs, aka Sometimes Missing, was a Merry Prankster, one of the psychedelic adventurers who, in 1964, rode across America with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest author Ken Kesey, in a bus driven by Neal Cassady.

The Pranksters documented their LSD-fueled journey on 40 hours of film and audiotape. Now, some 47 years later, directors Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood have assembled this footage in a coherent form. The result is a home movie, Magic Trip, which opens today in New York and San Francisco.

Click here to read my photo essay, “Still on the Bus,” about the film and my relationship with Babbs.