Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 58 Kerouaction: On Possessions

Day 58 in The Beat Handbook: 100 Days of Kerouactions was inspired by this passage from On The Road.

When traveling the beat way, you don't traditional reading material because you can spend your time "reading the American landscape." This cuts down on stuff to carry, and, after all, don't most of us have too many possessions anyway?

Personally, I prefer to have a book with me at all times. Right now I am reading Rainbow Pie: A Redneck Memoir by Joe Bageant. If you want to know what is wrong with our country, read this book. But don't buy it if you can borrow it. It just struck me that my friend Rick, who gave me the book and told me to pass it on when I was done, did so in accordance with values whose passing Bageant bemoans, such as community and sharing and frugality. Jack resonated with the underclass that Bageant so eloquently describes, spending much of his time in their company. I can't say I grew up a member of the "underclass," but I sure have an appreciation of their values and struggles, and all else being equal, I can relate better to a down-on-his-luck blue collar type than a theory-spouting academician any day of the week.

But back to the topic at hand. In the spirit of the beats, as a way of being green, to return to good old-fashioned common sense values, for the good of the dying art of reading a book: Pass along your books to others with the request that they do the same.

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