(Copyright © 2000 Al Aronowitz)


(Cartoon by Joel Roi Aronowitz)


[My swollen feet were dragging balls and chains.  Because they were too swollen to fit into shoes, I had encased each of them in two pairs of socks before slipping them into a pair of zip-up rubber totes.  Assisted by the four-footed metal cane once used by my late but much beloved sister Rose, I had thought I could walk the three short blocks to get my mail from Box 964 in the Post Office at the corner of Newark and North Avenues.  This is in Elizabeth, N.J., where I live because the rent is cheap.  But I hadn't gotten halfway up the cracked concrete driveway that runs alongside my apartment building toward North Avenue when I was out of steam.  Suddenly, I knew I couldn't even make it to the top of the driveway.  Defeated, I turned back toward the cozy embrace of my apartment.

That is only a fraction of the negative energy that was confronting me as I was attempting to put together Column Fifty-One of THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST in March of 2000.  Not only had I been victimized by attacks of phlebitis in both legs---they swelled to the size of adolescent tree trunks; I still have blocked arteries and aneurysms in both my once so shapely but now so misshapen locomotion limbs---but you can read about more evil let loose on me by the Devil in COLUMN FORTY-SIX (/column46.html)  Aside from the fact that Iím plunging deeper and deeper into debt (Boo-Hoo!) as I attempt to put my writing before the public, there seems to be no end of the hoops of fire I have to jump through.  (Boo-Hoo-HOO!)  The virus mentioned below succeeded in wiping out all the contributions from authors, poets and email correspondents from around the world kept in store by me for future columns.  I therefore beg all contributors to recontribute.  Just make sure that itís gotta be fun to read or have a damn good reason why it aint!

As for my stated promise of ďAnother Column Added Monthly,Ē Iím beginning to think that maybe Iíll have to change that to ďANOTHER COLUMN ADDED WHEN I CAN GET AROUND TO IT.Ē As an aftermath to the virus, I sent the following to my very long mailing list:]



Iím forced to apologize for the blank messages you recently received from my computer, sometimes twice and maybe even three times.  There were long lists of alphabetized eaddresses on them.

Actually, this is really more of an explanation than an apology.  Those blank messages were the result of a virus emailed to me like a package bomb in the same manner that Theodore Kaczynski, the notorious Unabomber, spread destruction and sometimes death from his cowardly anonymity.  Youíve got to admit that the minds of the Unabomber and whoever mails a computer virus are similarly afflicted.  In fact, such creeps also are cursed with the same kind of juvenile devotion to negativity evinced by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the two sickies who massacred their classmates at Coloradoís Colombine High.  To swagger through hell like Wild West gunslingers, is that what the two of them wanted?  To live only long enough to enjoy the psychopathic pride they sought in being mass murderers? Like Adolf Hitler, all Harris and Klebold achieved was the privilege of being able to blow their own brains out.

Virus villains are careful not to get blood on their hands but they are murderers nonetheless.  They shoot like deadly snipers from the cover of anonymity.  Like Harris and Klebold , they have nothing but contempt for the world.   Like Harris and Klebold, they donít care that the world has an even greater contempt for them. 

Certainly, contempt is what I have for the slimebrain who sent me that virus.  That was many weeks ago, all wasted in trying to restore what I could from the burnt shell of my hard drive.  At first, I was angry enough to kill.  But Iím really not that bloodthirsty.  It had never before occurred to me that I might possess dark powers, but I once put a curse on someone who ended up hanging himself in the most gruesome way.  The story I got is that he used a wire coat hanger for a noose.

I regret to admit I greeted that news with a smirk.  But years of misgivings have long since wiped that smirk off my face.  As I said, Iím really not that bloodthirsty.  Besides, I believe in Karma.  For every yin thereís a yang.  What goes around comes around.  In other words, the snake who sent me that venom has already doomed himself (or herself).  In one way or another, he (or she) will--- at least figuratively---end up having to swallow the very same poison that he (or she) fed to me.

Malice is in itself negative energy.  And if thereís one thing life has taught me, itís that negative energy is always counterproductive.  To send out bad vibes is like spitting in the wind.  The spit blows right back into your face.  Negative energy will always boomerang back at you.

Look at all the negative energy boomeranging back at me, starting back in 1972, when I was blacklisted from print journalism for no good reason.  I was writing the very successful POP SCENE column in the New York Post at the time but obviously, I musta done something wrong.

But what did I do to deserve this virus?  My views are sometimes very unorthodox and so I know there are a lot of people who disagree with things I write.  But I suspect the virus maybe came from among those in my email address book who didnít want to be on my mailing list.  Iím still pretty much computer illiterate, see, and when they asked to be removed from my mailing list, I couldnít find their listings to remove.  I asked them if they were sure the eaddress was the same to which I had sent the unwanted email.  I asked them to be patient and they got mad.  In response, I was foolish enough to ask if maybe they were just some crank putting me on.  They didnít like that.

Of course, the fact that I was computer illiterate enough---foolhardy is a better word---not to know that I should never open attachments without being sure of what they contain shows what a patsy I still am.  Me, Iím so innocent, I didnít even know enough to keep updating my antivirus program. So I get this email from an alleged ďDr. MillerĒ and open the attachment, just like I customarily open all attachments and my antivirus program tells me I have a virus and the program canít do anything about it because I havenít updated my virus definitions.

Like Harris and Klebold swaggering through hell, these virus villains swagger through cyberspace.   Theyíre the gunslingers of the digital age, looking for computers to murder at the slightest excuse.  But really, theyíre no better than vandals overturning gravestones in cemeteries.  Theyíre nothing but bullies, see.  They know more about computers than you do, so they hold you in contempt.  They know you canít outdraw them.  And they come heavily armed.  The bullets they shoot are digital H-Bombs.

The virus sure destroyed my computer.  Living on a monthly Social Security check, Iím already deep in debt but I had to borrow deeper to buy a new machine.  Iím an old dog and itís hard for me to learn new tricks.  It took me hours and hours to save all my stuff on the diseased computer.  Still, there were a few casualties.  One was THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALISTís promise of another column added monthly.  I was already so far behind because of prior negative energy that the virus forced me to suspend publication altogether.  Column 50 was dated October 1, 1999.  There hasnít been another column since.

Another casualty was my updated address book.  As a result, many of you who received confirmations that you already had been removed from it are now back on my mailing list.  But keep reading and youíll learn how to get off my mailing list once and for all.

I founded THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST in 1995 when, although totally computer illiterate, I realized that the Internet was a way of getting my writing before a reading public.  In other words, the Internet was my path to an end run around the blacklist that had kept me out of print since 1972.  All any writer ever wants is readers.  THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST has gotten more than 80,000 hits since 1995 and although thatís certainly not much compared to more popular websites, it aint chopped liver, either.  Iíve gotten enough fan email to know Iíve got at least a cult following.

As THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST, you see, I claim a certain notoriety.  For instance, Iím the man who introduced Allen Ginsberg to Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan to the Beatles and the Beatles to marijuana.  As such Iíve got a lot of stories to tell about the cultural upheaval that exploded in the era from the Beats to the Beatles, from On the Road to the Rock Revolution.  A lot of inside stories because I was obviously on the inside.  Ginsberg, Dylan and the Beatles werenít the only cultural icons I used to hang out with.  Anything of any cultural significance that was happening in the counterculture of those days, I was there, right in the middle of it.

Interested in the Beats?  Kerouac?  Ginsberg?  Cassady?  Dylan?  The Beatles?  The Grateful Dead?  Miles Davis?  Billie Holiday?  Mick Jagger?  Jimi Hendrix?  Phil Spector?  Those are only a few of the figures youíll find on my website.  As I said, I hung out with them all.  The stories I tell bring you right there with me.  Iím not a poet but THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST prints poetry, too.  Youíll find interesting contributions from other writers from all over the world.  Writers like the revolutionary black activist Amiri Baraka, whom I consider one of Americaís greatest living poets, and from his diametric opposite, Manuel Menťndez, an anti-Castro Cuban exile, who hates blacks and says his politics are to the right of Genghis Kahn.   But I admire his story-telling!  In fact, Iíll print anything any writer sends me just so long as it passes my test: itís gotta be fun to read or have a damn good reason why it aint.  The Internet has given a new power to the printed word.  It is the aim of THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST to be worthy of that power.

I hope youíll give my index page ( http://www, ) a peek before you angrily demand to get off my mailing list.  There have been others who asked to get off.   Then they took a look and changed their minds.

You have gotten on my mailing list for any one of several reasons.

1.       You sent me an email.

2.     Someone who knows you gave me your email address and asked me to put you in my address book.  He (or she) thought youíd be interested in my website.

3.     You were one of the recipients listed on an email sent to me from a website not unlike my own, causing me to be hopeful that you might be interested in some of the subjects covered by my website or you might be interested in just plain good reading.

Oh, I admit I cheated a little and copped some eaddresses from emails sent me by computer neophytes who, as was once the case with me, didnít know enough to send blind carbon copies.  I know itís not computer etiquette to cop eaddresses like that, but the virus villains have destroyed computer etiquette.  Besides, Iím trying to turn everybody I can onto my website.  Iíve got no money to advertise or to hire a press agent or to otherwise promote THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST.  The search engines largely ignore me but word of mouth keeps spreading.  The point is Iím not asking for anything.  Like I said, Iím offering you the stories on my website for free!

I certainly didnít mean to pollute your screen or break the back of your email inbox with more junk.  At least, I hope my emails arenít as boring as some of the spam that fills my own inbox.  I find it no trouble at all to click on DELETE.  And I certainly didnít mean to offend, insult or overburden you with the necessity of dealing with this message.  Normally, I send out monthly announcements of the contents of each new issue of THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST.  I also send out announcements of my occasional readings.

As a computer neophyte, I, too, started out sending emails with long lists of addressees on them.  I now send to only one addressee and the other recipients, each emailed as a ďbcc.Ē  Because I have accumulated a long mailing list, I send out my emails a portion at a time.  So, I need that one eaddressee on each email I send to help me locate your listing when you want to be removed.

Iím not some hustler trying to tell you how to make a million dollars and Iím not a spammer who gives you a phony return email address.  If you want to be removed from my address book, kindly print ďREMOVEĒ in the subject line above, click on ďreplyĒ and then click on ďsend.Ē  It is essential that I have a complete copy of this email Iíve sent you, including the lone addressee at the top.  As I said that will enable me to find you in my address book.  Afterwards, you will receive an email confirming that you have been removed from my mailing list.  But have patience, please.  So far, THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST is just a one-man operation and, although I hope not, there might be a rush of naysayers among you.


Al Aronowitz



Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 16:39:55 -0500
From: Andy Voelkle <>
To: al aronowitz <>

Dear Al--

1) Remove me from your list-- I never subscribed in any way at all. NEVER.

2) I am bloodthirsty.

3) No virus destroyed your computer-- you are mistaken, or a lying lowlife
spammer asshole.

4) Write me again and you'll have no worries at all. I have 650 kids in my
outfit that'll fly up and have a talk with you, just to have dinner with me
once in their career. Read the 1973. Put two and two together. Choose

--Andy Voelkle


"On the Infobahn since 1973"

* * *

Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 23:18:32 -0500
From: Andy Voelkle <>
To: al aronowitz <>

al aronowitz wrote:

Obviously, you did not read the instructions.  Should I assume that you
And your friends are virus villains?  Should I notify the FBI?

You notify anyone you want, you cock-sucking piece of shit---you don't give
Me instructions at all---ever.

You are a spammer, a liar and a fool. Fuck you.


"On the Infobahn since 1973"

* * *


Subject: FW: remove
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 10:57:38 -0400
From: "Postmaster" <>



Subject: FW: remove
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 23:29:37 -0500

Dear siró

I am being relentlessly spammed by "The Blacklisted
Journalist" from your domain. I want it stopped now.
He calls himself "Al Aronowitz", and his emails are full of lies
And deception. I never have given my email address to anyone. I am
a senior intelligence official, and I am just about to lose
patience with this spammer. Please take whatever steps necessary
to remove my email address from this predatory imbecile, or legal
problems will just be the start. I suspect you people are into
illegal drugs somehow, and will launch whatever investigations
required to discover the connection and bring it to the attention
of the proper authorities.

I am serious.

Nothing I have done has resulted in turning off this insane deluge
of unwanted email.

######### quoted typical recent message  ###################


"On the Infobahn since 1973"

Interests: Voting, Civics, Physics, Astronomy, Digital Imaging,
Archaeology, Cactus, Caudiciforms, Tomatos, Hot Peppers, Citrus,
Preserving the Second Amendment, Single-Malts, Fashion, Women ---
Andy Voelkle in Houston Texas USA --- []

0) Personal Home Page ---

1) WW2 Veterans Art Project ---

2) First Study of Fashion Veils ---

* * *

Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 21:27:48 -0500
Subject: GROW UP!
From: The Art Guys <>
To: al aronowitz <>

* * *

Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 21:28:45 -0500
From: The Art Guys <>
To: al aronowitz <>


* * *


Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 21:29:39 -0500
From: The Art Guys <>
To: al aronowitz <>

* * *


Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 22:07:46 -0400

Ingenious, if disingenuous. As a sometime journalist myself, I
sympathise with your situation as you have stated it, and I certainly
wish you all the best with your site. I will therefore include the
standard poem I wrote for, and send to, every ISP listed in the header of
spam I receive (I will make an exception in your case!) -- but with the
following disclaimers:

1) It is not altogether appropriate in this situation, I think, but I
think you will find it amusing, and

2) if you do, and wish to copy it and use it to respond to all people who
spam YOU, be my guest.

It goes without saying that spammers are swine.
They use stolen data that's yours and that's mine.
If your ISP in the message below
Is real, then it's time that you cut off this flow
Of excrement, drivel, annoyance or smut
And find the offender and paddle his butt;
And if it's a forgery, know that this thief
Is stealing your name, to our mutual grief,
So catch him and sue him until he's bled white;


* * *

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 0912:00 -0400 (EDT)
From: BenRR <>
To: al aronowitz <>


* * *


Subject: asshole
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2000 11:31:38 -0400

remove me from your list. fool.


maybe just ignored. Lots of things get ignored. Lots of things are pretty
much boring. Don't take it personally. Have you tried not being such a turd?

* * *


Date: Sat, 1 Jul 2000 19:01:33 EDT

Fuckin' Cristal.

That's all I have to say.


                                           * * *


Subject: Remove
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2001 09:26:54 -0400
From: "Gabrielle Shannon" <>


                                           * * *

                      FROM SUPERSATAN HIMSELF

Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2000 11:07:24 -0500
From: "Pedro Felix" <>
To: <>

Repeat send me nothing further, I checked your site and I note you're in NJ,
I'm in NYC so send me one more of those long e-mails again and i'll be
hunting you down.

-----Original Message-----

From: Pedro Felix <>

                                      * * *
                                   ALSO ANNOYED
To: al aronowitz <>
Date: Tuesday, July 04, 2000 11:02 AM

Dude, I don't know who you, just stop sending me anything, live well

                                                            * * *
Subject: RE: xc2b
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2000 16:18:42 -0500
From: Amy Elz <>
To: "'Al Aronowitz,'" <>

My Dearest Blacklisted Journalist,

Oh, how long has it been since your first flirtatious email drifted before
me?  Why nearly 6 hours!  Too long, my sweet...too long.
My Outlook, once gloomy, has become sunny and carefree as you taunt me from
afar with hints of destinations unfamiliar.  You offer your link in a field
of white and I find that I am linked to you, inexorably bound to you and the
temptation you proffer like the promise of snow on a school day.
But, my lambchop of a journalist blacklisted by an uncaring and ununderstand
world, I'm afraid that my heart, although tempted, belongs to another.  He
actually *writes* in his emails.  So, my  taciturn transcriber, I must
request that you refrain from luring me further from reality.  Please,
remove me from your mailing list, your address book, and your heart, my
star-crossed posting lover, for our relationship can never last as we are
from two different worlds...the world of noise and clamour and the world of
deep solitude and peace.
I shall never forget you as long as you remain in my deleted items folder.
Adieu, my silent scribe...adieu.

                                                            * * * 

Luckily, I managed o save some positive email from the devious deviltry of that unnameable virus.  For instance, here's an e I received from Nestor Sbariggi Ing in Argentina:

Dear Al:

Hi! I hope you're doing fine.

I'm writing an article about your web site for our little poetry magazine called La Novia de Tyson (Tyson's girlfriend) so everyone of my writers friends will know about you and your work and find out from where I get those beatnik stories I use to tell them.  Of course that I do mention your name but almost none of them have heard about you and your place in history of contraculture.

Or check out this one:

hello, my name is Steve DeFeo and I am a junior in high school.  I am writing a term paper and need an interview for part of the paper.  I was wondering if i could interview you via email about the beat generation.  It would be very much appreciated

Unfortunately, Steve didn't include his correct eaddress and so I had no way of telling him, "Certainly."  But Steve isn't the only one who wanted to interview me.  Here's another e from Howard Sounes:

Dear Al Aronowitz, I am a British author writing a new biography of Bob Dylan for Grove Press (to be published in the US by Grove and in the UK by Doubleday in 2001). Barry Feinstein and other people have suggested I contact you and I have been reading your excellent columns on the web page with much interest.  I will be in New York City from 26 October to 3 November and would like to visit you in New Jersey, or perhaps invite you to lunch in New York.  You are obviously . . . important in the story of Dylan's career and it would be most helpful and interesting to talk with you about Dylan.  Best wishes,  Howard

See, no editor will give me a contract to write a book about Dylan.  But the geniuses who are the editors of a little outfit like Grove are giving Howard a $500,000 advance for his Dylan book and he has never even met Bob.  So, he wants me to spill all the beans I have to spill about Dylan.  Uhn, Uhn, I told him.  Be glad to eat your lunch but won't talk about anything except what I've already published about Bob.  No one else I know who was close to Bob, not even Barry Feinstein, will spill any beans about Bob to Howard, either.

So how can Howard get a half million advance for a Dylan book and I can't get jackshit?  Because Howard has a track record, that's why.  He's published two books about rock stars.  My track record is my website.  Don't the opening chapters of MY DYLAN PAPERS in Columns Forty-Eight and Forty-Nine tell you that I have the makings of a good Dylan book?  Meanwhile, a reader named Peggy Dilley in California emails me:

  Dear Al,

I confess.  I've been really happy whenever you sent me reminders of your new columns, but I didn't often read that much of them, and for the last few months I haven't had Internet access, and not having read them, when I had the chance, weighed on my mind as to what I'd neglected.  So, last night I finally got on the Internet, on my new computer, and I stayed up all night and got up again this morning and have been reading many of the columns, focusing mostly on Dylan, of course.  I find them interesting, and, hopefully, I'll keep reading.

So, this time I'm thanking you for not just being there, but for giving me helpful information, especially the insights on Bob.  What you say about his character really rings true with me.  I've been to over 200 Bob shows in the last seven years, and this is the man I've intuited, and it's so nice to have those intuitions confirmed by someone who spent enough time personally with him to know.

Please keep writing more.  It's really helpful.  All that Messiah worshipping stuff.  All the charisma and ego problems.  And the head games.  The taunting.  And his eyes, of course, his mesmerizing eyes.  The innocence.  The smile.  The magic.  There is nothing like this man.  I hate him, and I hopelessly love him.  And you help me understand, maybe, just a little why. . .

Or else, there's Diane Saunders who wrote me:

I was surfing when I came upon your work.  Is there a charge for being able to access your website?  If so, kindly let me know and I will remit by mail.

I emailed her back saying there was no charge, but I DO accept donations.  And you know what?  She sent me a $50 check.  That's not quite enough for me, Diane.  But if each of more than the 80,000 visitors to my website sent me a $50 check or at least a $5 donation, I'd be able to publish a book called THE BEST OF THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST.  That's not a bad idea.  If no one else wants to publish me, why don't I publish myself?  Plus all the other unpublished authors who are contributors to THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST.  So how do I raise the money to publish THE BEST OF THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST?

The advent of the Internet has given a new power to the printed word that the editors of America's greed machine can't clearly comprehend.  Not only do print editors look down their noses at the Internet, they see no reason to read what's on it. Certainly, they don't read my website or they'd know by now that they ought to publish THE BEAT PAPERS OF AL ARONOWITZ, because I have plenty of chapters that still haven't been published on the Web.  But no, print editors think that if it's available for free on the Internet, nobody's going to buy a printed copy.

Like a man wrongfully sentenced to prison, yeah, I tasted bitterness.  But I knew that nobody likes a bitter old man.  Obviously, I couldn't achieve success without losing my bitterness.  The trouble was I also knew I couldn't lose my bitterness without first achieving success.

Now, the advent of the Internet has not only enabled me to run my end run around the blacklist, but it has also enabled me to swallow my bitterness.  I can look at my 50 columns on the Web as a body of work which can one day constitute part of a CD-ROM and which also can be published in book form.  As Nestor Sbariggi Ing also wrote me:

Thanks so much for sending me what you're writing for the column 51. Please don't give up now.

You know, trying to find some material on you over the net for the article I'm writing everywhere I go I read lines like "The legendary journalist Al Aronowitz" and etc, etc. and links to your web page. You were right when you thought that the net would be good to achieve some acknowledgment to your work and your life. You're not the invisible man anymore. You've made it.  And yes, some smart editor would realize that your stuff is valuable for a lot of readers.  That instead of reading second hand stories on their musical and writing heroes, theyíd prefer to "hear" your original version instead.  Because you were there and you've been not only a spectator but a man who did contribute to make it.

Thanks so much for everything. Carry on!

If Iíve shown contempt for the editors of America---most of them, anyway---itís only a reflection of the contempt theyíve shown for me.  ##

Letter to the

Forever Is Long;
A Boo For
Comp USA;
Haley's Comet
Again; and



The Blacklisted Journalist can be contacted at P.O.Box 964, Elizabeth, NJ 07208-0964
The Blacklisted Journalist's E-Mail Address: