Sunday, November 2, 2008

I call the spirits of the American Dead

For Halloween, I decided to the invoke spirits of dead folks that I thought represented the America to me: I suspect this that their help is needed. I made a list, finally amounting to 108 names. I deliberately avoided generals, successful politicians and wealthy magnates, but there’s a few. My list may be criticized, I recognize, for over representing white, straight males – that would probably apply to 55 of the 108, although for some of those, their sexuality is complicated. If you have other suggestions, I’m open to them. If you don’t know who some of these folks are, educate yourself. You can find information on the internet about all of them. They are very American to me.

R. Buckminster Fuller • Lysander Spooner • Malvina Reynolds
Timothy Leary • Djuna Barnes • Von Dutch
Frank Zappa • John Lyon Burnside III • Gwydion Pennderwen
Frank Herbert • Marvin Gaye • Susan B. Anthony
Ed “Big Daddy” Roth • Humphrey Bogart • H.P. Lovecraft
Joey Ramone • Patsy Cline • Eudora Welty
Jeannette Rankin • Ella Fitzgerald • Frank Capra
Z. Budapest • Flannery O’Connor • Neal Cassaday
Dalton Trumbo • Charles Beard • Donella Meadows
Edward Hopper • Robert Anton Wilson • Thomas Paine
Sojourner Truth • Ralph Waldo Emerson • Edgar Allan Poe
Henry David Thoreau • Marie Laveau • Victoria C. Woodhull
Clara Barton • Mark Twain • P.B. Randolph
George Washington Carver • Emma Lazarus • Voltairine De Cleyre
Upton Sinclair • Thomas Edison • Alfred Corning Clark
Gertrude Stein • Isadore Duncan • Duke Ellington
Langston Hughes • Jelly Roll Morton • Eleanor Roosevelt
Samuel Barber • Josef C. Hofmann • Jack Parsons
Ezra Pound • Robert Heinlein • John Coltrane
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn • Woody Guthrie • Charles Ives
Dashiell Hammett • Margaret Sanger • Nellie Bly
Mary Cassatt • Jack London • Benjamin Franklin
Phyllis Wheatley • Josiah Randall • Maria Zapata
Jerry Garcia • Elizabeth Cady Stanton • John Cage
Marion Zimmer Bradley • Margaret Fuller • Johnny Thunders
Leonard Bernstein • Phillip K. Dick • Studs Turkel
Louis Zukofsky • Miles Davis • Aaron Copland
Harry Houdini • Aldo Leopold • Claude Shannon
Ansel Adams • John Huston • Rex Stout
Leo Fender • I.F. Stone • Bella Abzug
Janis Joplin • Vincent Anderson • Robinson Jeffers
William Burroughs • Ida B. Wells • Isaac Asimov