Saturday, November 15, 2008

Six Degrees of Jack Kerouac

This is the first in an occasional series of posts (occurring on a variable ratio schedule) wherein I will be linking Jack Kerouac to another person in 6 or less steps. This is based on the trivia game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, which is based on the theory of Six Degrees of Separation.

We will be establishing Kerouac numbers, similar to Bacon numbers. A Kerouac number quantifies the separation a person has from Jack Kerouac.

The difference is, we will not be limited in our connections as in the Kevin Bacon version. That is, any connections I think of are fair game - they are not limited to people, but could be events or things. At the same time, I will be connecting Jack to unlikely people, as you will see. And the connections cannot be trivial (for example, having read a Kerouac book does not give you a Kerouac number of 1). Maybe it will be fun. Especially if it becomes interactive and you suggest some unlikely people to connect to Jack.

For our first subject, we will be taking up professional wrestler Kevin Nash.

1. Kevin Nash resides in Venice Beach, CA.
2. My son Jason is streethawking copies of The Beat Handbook at Venice Beach.
3. The Beat Handbook is a daily reader devoted to Jack Kerouac.

So, Kevin Nash's Kerouac number is 3.

Okay. That was kind of lame. But it struck me this morning while watching TNA Wrestling on television* and they introduced Kevin Nash as being from Venice Beach. So I went with it.

I wonder what Barack Obama's Kerouac number might be. Anyone want to tackle that?

*If all you can think of right now is why does Rick watch professional wrestling, get over your bad self. "And ye harm none, do what ye will." Wiccans have it about right.


Jonny Ross said...

I'll take a crack at this.

1. According to Obama's Rolling Stone interview, one of his favorite artists is Bob Dylan and his favorite track to listen to on his iPod is "Maggie's Farm," saying that it "reminds [him] of the political rheotoric" he was hearing out on the campaign trail.

2. According to the Scorsese doc "No Direction Home," a young Robert Zimmerman's favorite book was "On the Road," quoting directly the book's most famous passage verbatim, and was so inspired by it he soon moved away from his hometown in Minnesota, hit the road and eventually wound up in New York's Greenwich Village where he started writing folk songs under the new alias Bob Dylan.

Also, all three have published high-profile autobiographies...if you consider most of Kerouac's ouevre one long autobiography (ie, "The Dulouz Legend").

How was that?

Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...


Far out! I love it.

So Obama's Kerouac number is . . . 2.

I can come up with 2 another way.

1. Jack Kerouac is a distant cousin of Hillary Clinton.
2. Obama ran against Hillary for the Presidential nomination.

So I'd say Obama is a 2 for sure!