The life of William S. Burroughs provides myriad examples as regards social changes that have affected the West over the last century. For a start, there are two major biographies of Burroughs—one by a scatty former hippie and the other by “Ted Morgan, serious journalist”. The Morgan biography is better written but it also contains very acidulous and nasty comments—often about the rich and aristocrats; quasi-socialist points really, though Burroughs was not a socialist but rather a decadent libertarian who hated bureaucracy.
I thought there was something odd about Morgan, odd about the way he wrote—odd about how scathing he could be about “the Man” and how willing he was to excuse really nasty behaviour by Burroughs. Morgan was particularly harsh on a young aristocrat, Micky Portman, who associated with Burroughs—though he was just an unfortunate semi-orphaned creature. Eventually, I looked up Ted Morgan “American journalist”—Morgan is actually Count Sanche Charles Armand Gabriel de Gramont. Can you Adam and Eve it, Guv’nor? I had imagined some hack who came up the hard way, embittered against the rich…except people who come up the hard way are never embittered against the rich, just glad to have made some $$$s to buy that Lambo.
Count Sanche Armand Gabriel de Gramont (aka “Ted Morgan”), on the other hand, has some real problems with “the Man”, the cops, the rich—the pigs who really ruin your trip. No surprise that he had no sympathy for the aristocratic Portman, disdained for being “spoilt” and worse—no sympathy for your own, run them down as if you’re a regular prole taking a peek into the lives of the rich. Très bon, Count. In retrospect I could feel the Frenchness in Morgan—Morgaine—it’s what a Frenchman thinks an American name is. I could feel his Frenchness in his syntax. Long story short: they hate the rich, they have no compassion, they are hypocrites—they are decadent aristocrats under an assumed name, source of many woes.