Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Harry Potter as Allen Ginsberg?

Rumor has it that Daniel Radcliffe is slated to play Allen Ginsberg in an upcoming film. Click here for the story.

"I don't think so, Tim."

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 91 Kerouaction: On Picking Up Hitchhikers

The above passage from On The Road inspired Day 91 in The Beat Handbook.

It's beat to hitchhike, and it's also beat to pick up hitchhikers. When you do, ask them for gas money. If they don't have gas money, then what? An old 60s saying comes to mind: "Ass, gas, or grass: Nobody rides for free." I suppose in a pinch you could settle for a good story.

Speaking of pinches, I talked to a young man today who confirmed that hitchhiking is definitely illegal in Massachusetts. He knew this from personal experience, if you know what I mean.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Occupy Movement embraces Jack Kerouac

Okay, that's a misleading blog post title, but I'm all about traffic to my blog.

That said, click here to read an article in the Irish Independent about the Occupy movement. It includes a mention of a Jack Kerouac quote seen at Occupy Dame Street. Dame Street is a major street in Dublin that is home to several banks as well as Trinity College, where legend has it that the bell in the arch rings whenever a virgin passes under it (it hasn't rung in over 200 years).

Now, why didn't I think of putting that Jack quote on a sign for Occupy Augusta?

Day 90 Kerouaction: On Cheap Travel

One might suspect that the entry in The Beat Handbook inspired by the above passage from On The Road would focus on Dean's choice of places to make it with a waitress he met in a luncheonette. Instead, Day 90, "On Cheap Travel," points out that we still have services that put together cars that need to be somewhere and drivers willing to get them there. Just Google "driveaway" and you'll find info on becoming a "driver" for one of these companies. You get a car with a full tank of gas and pay all the rest of the expenses in getting it from Point A to Point B. Just like Sal and Dean. Pick up some hitchhikers along the way and ask for gas money, sleep in the car, pack a bunch of salami sandwiches, and go go go on the cheap. Yass, yass . . . .

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Jack Kerouac's estate

Click here for an interesting piece on what's become of Jack Kerouac's estate. I don't know how accurate this article is, but I do know from personal experience that there is tension when Gerald Nicosia hangs around at Lowell Celebrates Kerouac events. Said tension was palpable (have you ever heard the saying, "As welcome as a skunk at a garden party"?), and when I asked about it, I got vague acknowledgments but no details. Perhaps this article sheds some light.

Which reminds me to remind you to have a will, make sure it's legal & current, keep the original somewhere safe & accessible, and provide copies to those it affects.

Note to self: Take your own advice.

Full text of On The Road plus

This site is probably illegal as Hell, but Terebess Asia Online does include the full text of On The Road and a few other Kerouac works.

Day 89 Kerouaction: On Sleep

The above passage from On The Road inspired Day 89 in The Beat Handbook, titled, "On Sleep."

A student asked his master, "What is enlightenment?"

The master replied, "When hungry, eat; when tired, sleep."

In this passage, Jack's (Sal's) behavior embodies this Zen principle.

Trivia question: How many times does Jack mention sleep or sleeping in On The Road?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Kerouac's lost novel published

Jack's first and unpublished novel, The Sea is My Brother, is now available for the first time. Click here to buy it, although if you're not a Kerouac fan, you might want to think twice. I understand that it's fairly unremarkable and only of interest to those of use who are Kerouac-obsessed.

P.S. I told you about this in March 2009.

Day 88 Kerouaction: On Dress

The Beat Handbook's Day 88 entry, "On Dress," was inspired by the above passage from On The Road.

Want to dress beat? Then it's jeans and T-shirts. Can you imagine a time when they were considered "rebellious"? Rebellious things often become mainstream after a time, but no matter because jeans and T-shirts are comfortable, low-maintenance, and versatile, all important characteristics for a beat wardrobe. Add some plaid flannel shirts, Carhartt or Dickies work pants, and black railyard shoes and you'll have a fairly complete beat wardrobe.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shameless self-promotion

It's that time of year when shameless self-promotion is especially effective and more frequently forgiven. Why? Because it's gift-giving season, and what better gift is there than a book? So, figure out how many people on your gift list would appreciate a Kerouac-inspired lilt, click here, and order the desired number of copies. Amazon will even gift-wrap them and send them directly to your giftees. Simple as a snap. No, it's not buying local, but it puts huge royalties (cough!) in my pocket, and I'm as local as you can get, especially if you live in Pennsylvania or Maine.

If you want to give several books, combine my book with The Dharma Bums and On The Road, for which it is a companion reader. You'll vault to the top of your Kerouac-obsessed friends' A-lists!

Click. Click. Click. Done.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 87 Kerouaction: On Kidney Function

Day 87 in The Beat Handbook was inspired by the above passage from On The Road.

Titled, "On Kidney Function," this entry extracts several beat actions from a short scenario, including the kinds of restaurant bathrooms to seek out (and why) as well as the possibilities of finding entertainment in the simplest situations.

Jack Kerouac's actual Navy medical report

If you haven't seen it before, click here to see Jack's actual Navy medical report from May 14, 1943.

Very interesting.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 86 Kerouaction: On "The Road"

Here it is, the passage from On The Road that inspired Day 86 in The Beat Handbook!

What's the point? The road is symbolic of action, mindfully experiencing what is. But don't wish you were Dean. Or Sal. Or even my hero from the TV show, Then Came Bronson. Be them. Take off on an adventure right now. No plan. No supplies. Just go go go. See where you end up!

Jerry Seinfeld and Jack Kerouac

I knew I liked Jerry Seinfeld for some reason. Click here for an interesting comparison between him and our hero, Jack Kerouac.

By the way, this is not the first time I've mentioned Seinfeld here on The Daily Beat. For example:

November 23, 2008
April 3, 2011

These pretzels are making me thirsty!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 85 Kerouaction: On IT

The above passage from On The Road inspired Day 85 in The Beat Handbook, titled, "On IT."

If you get what IT is, you know that words written about it are useless.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 84 Kerouaction: On Unconditional Love

We're winding down with our series of posts showing which passages from The Dharma Bums and On The Road inspired the 100 entries in The Beat Handbook. Only 15 to go.

The above passage inspired Day 84, titled, "On Unconditional Love." In it, I suggest doing some research on what Carl Rogers said about sunsets, or what Krishnamurti had to say about measuring love and thereby destroying it. Find someone who lets you be who you are, and do the same. I'm not suggesting being a doormat, or ignoring your own needs, but I am suggesting that we all realize that no one makes us happy or sad, that love is more than a feeling, that commitment really does mean taking the good with the bad (because we all have both), and that allowing your partner to be who they are and vice versa is pretty damn important. No, I wouldn't be thrilled if Crystal sauntered in at 3 AM with a bunch of loud, drunk friends and proceeded to talk and drink till dawn. But I hope I would empathize with how that behavior met important needs of hers, for connection and fun and what-have-you. If I didn't want to join in, and I needed my sleep, there's always the camper and my nice warm sleeping bag. Jack would approve.

Be who you are! The world needs you to do that.

Beatitude by Larry Closs

I just received a copy of Beatitude by Larry Closs for review, so it's in the reading queue and I will give you my take on it in a future post.

In the meantime, however, I will say that I read the first few pages and it's very engaging. The book includes two previously unpublished Ginsberg poems, and David Amram commented, "A daring, honest writer with a gritty urban flair." So, you might not want to wait for my review and pick up a few copies now to store away as a holiday gift for your beat friends.

I'm sure it's on Amazon, or click here for the actual publisher's website.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Beat Hotel

Click here for trailer.

Famous authors' rejection letters

Click here for an interesting NPR story about famous authors' rejection letters. When you get to Jack's section, there is no visual example, but if you click on the link you can hear part of his On The Road rejection letter read aloud.

The lesson? Keep writing and ignore rejections as well as the poo-poo advice from your "friends" and relatives.

Door Wide Open by Jack Kerouac & Joyce Johnson

This is what I'm currently reading, and I recommend it highly if you are a Kerouac fan. It's a fascinating look at a beat love affair via the letters between Jack Kerouac and Joyce Johnson, interspersed with commentary by the latter.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 83 Kerouaction: On Time

Day 83 in The Beat Handbook was inspired by the above passage from On The Road. I remember asking my great friend Keith what time it was and him answering, "Now." Well, course. It is always "now." The past and the future are mental illusions, and greatly responsible for suffering (guilt over the past, anxiety over the future).

So if you want to call on a friend, but it's 2 AM, so what? Do it. Don't let an artificial construct like time keep you from being fully alive and acting on your gut instincts. Hungry for pancakes but it's dinner time? Have pancakes. Sleepy but it's high noon? Sleep. And so on. I think you get the point: Don't let the clock run your life.