Friday, March 12, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jack Kerouac!

This is only the second time Jack Kerouac’s birthday has rolled around during the existence of The Daily Beat, which started in earnest shortly after my book’s publication in September 2008. Last year we declared March as Jack Kerouac Month and posted a new Kerouaction every day of the month. You can read the lead-in post for that month here. You can read any of that month’s posts by using the blog archive on the right. The Daily Beat’s first and only post on Jack’s birthday is available here.

If you have the chance, a bunch of celebratory activities are taking place this weekend in Jack’s hometown of Lowell, MA. Click here for a schedule. While I’ve been to Lowell for Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! the last two years in a row, I’ve never attended the birthday festivities in Lowell. I really wish I could go this year because I think I’m going to miss LCK! in lieu of my band playing at The Dempsey Challenge.

Alas, we have a limited time in this world so we can’t do or be everything, a fact Jack well knew and commiserated about routinely in his writing. Speaking of time, it just struck me that Jack’s birthday falls in the same month as St. Patrick’s Day. Jack was Irish, you know, a fact about which I expounded here.
I guess I should apologize for taking the writer’s cheap way out and doing a retrospective on Jack’s birthday instead of writing something original, but this is what came out spontaneously so I’m going with it (in honor of what Jack would do, making it a true Kerouaction).

Today, in honor of the greatest American author who ever lived, read something by Jack Kerouac. Even if you don’t have a Kerouac novel handy, it’s easy to do by visiting Google books and searching for Jack Kerouac. A number of his books have limited previews there. Another thing you could do is buy my book, The Beat Handbook: 100 Days of Kerouactions, at Amazon.

That would give me two reasons to be happy today.

1 comment:

Jonny Ross said...

great birthday post, rick.

roger ebert put together a nice little tribute on his journal, compiling many of kerouac's youtube clips.

today on his twitter feed ebert writes: "Is it possible 'On the Road' shaped our culture, indirectly at least, more than any other novel?"