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Cool Visual Representations of On the Road

For anyone interested this is just a kind of neat visual representation of On the Road.

And here’s a slightly less cool one: http://www.shortlist.com/cool-stuff/design/alternative-on-the-road-posters

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Kill Your Darlings

Video

Here is a somewhat illuminating interview with Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan, who star in the upcoming Kill Your Darlings as Allen Ginsberg and Lucien Carr. Perhaps more interesting than the interview is Carr’s Wikipedia page, which I skimmed and gleaned that Carr led quite a tumultuous life that fits in well with the lives of his fellow Beats. It would be difficult to study him as a contributor to the Beat Generation, as he was not a poet or a novelist, but an editor for United Press International. However, his relationship to other Beats and his thoroughly Beat lifestyle deem him worthy of attention as a Beat figure. Perhaps Kill Your Darlings will begin a trend of incorporating him into discussions of the Beat Generation to a fuller extent; Ginsberg did refer to him as “the glue” of the NYC Beat scene.

Carr’s Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucien_Carr#cite_note-12

Contemporary Extensions of Beat Generation

Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98LeLZ2crZE, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH332wYtO6w

These are two quintessential examples of 90s counterculture. The first, a clip from “Fight Club”. Sorry for the poor quality of the video, but the text of the clip is the following:

“God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables – slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won’t. We’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”

The second clip is grunge band Nirvana’s most popular, most well-known song, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, which contains the following lyrics:

Load up on guns,
Bring your friends
It’s fun to lose and to pretend
She’s overboard self assured
Oh no I know, a dirty word.

Hello, hello, hello, hello?
Hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, how low, how low?
Hello, hello, hello.

With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
i feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us
A mulato!
An Albino!
A mosquito!
My libido!
Yay! Hey! Yay!

I’m worse at what I do best
And for this gift I feel blessed
Our little group has always been
And always will until the end

Hello, hello, hello, hello?
Hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, how low, how low?
Hello, hello, hello.

With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us
A mulato!
An Albino!
A mosquito!
My libido!
Yay! Hey! Yay!

(Solo)

And I forget just why I taste –
Oh yeah, I guess it makes me smile
I found it hard, it was hard to find
Oh well, whatever, nevermind

Hello, hello, hello, hello?
Hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, how low, how low?
Hello, hello, hello.

With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us
A mullato!
An albino!
A mosquito!
My libido!

Howl Review

A really short review of the film Howl which we’re watching later today. It’s not entirely favourable; it calls the film a ‘rather tepid hybrid movie’ and condemns it for focusing too much on the obscenity trial. It also argues that the issues in the film are ‘woefully dated’ – interesting considering the argument we have heard on how Howl is still relevant.

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/reviews/film/howl_friedman

1-800-KEROUAC

After listening to the NPR story I checked out the website for the Beat Museum as well. I watched this movie over the weekend, “El Ultimo Elvis;” it was about an Argentinian Elvis impersonator that thinks he’s really Elvis. He speaks a hybrid form of Spanish and Portuguese but sings in English. And he sounds exactly like The King! I won’t spoil the movie for anyone that would like to view the film, but at the end he goes to Graceland. The Graceland visit, of course, reminds me of The Beat Museum.

Fans, especially American fans, need a gathering place to commensurate and feel like they were part of the counterculture of 1950s. Perhaps they were part of it (and need a destination to bring back memories) or maybe they just tell stories how they saw Ginsberg read one time or they have a great Kerouac story, “I once gave him a ride.”

Regardless Americans like to purchase memorabilia with their cultural icons on them, even the counterculture ones. For instance, The “Books Not Bombs” T-shirt in black caught my eye on the online store as well as the Jack Kerouac dashboard bobble head. I purchased the Bukowski Classic Oxford Button Down Postal Worker Shirt with “Hank” embroidered on left side. We’re a capitalistic society. If Kerouac was alive I think he’d be at the museum every second Tuesday signing books and taking photos with the kiddies, for a price of course. He’d be telling “the scroll story” for the umpteenth time and maybe scatting for a few fortunate fans – oomaloom!

 

All Things Considered and On the Road

Aside

I was just exploring the Beats Museum website they mentioned (sourly so) in All Things Considered. I know we mentioned this movie Kill Your Darlings coming out in October I believe but just thought this short behind the scenes clip was interesting. You can find it when you scroll down this page a bit http://www.kerouac.com/blog/   It’s odd to think there is a museum to represent and display parts of the Beat Generation because the idea of a museum is so conventional and to me, very ‘unbeatlike.’  I think it’d be great to get the opportunity to look at certain artifacts and original publications but in such an organized manner and institution doesn’t seem fitting.

I think the idea of trying to translate Beat works into other modes of viewing can also be applicable to the representation of On the Road via film. The formation of the original book itself as one continuous scroll is a major influence in how the work is perceived.  This run on/ flow enables readers to connect with the lifestyle of Kerouac as he seemingly travels, explores, and experiments infinitely. In the film there is definitely a presence of an unstoppable and never-ending energy but I just don’t think it is able to compare to the energy of the book. Also, I believe that there is much more creative freedom involved when reading the book rather than viewing it in a movie theater.  It’s easier to feel more connected to a text because there are certain aspects of imagination and self perception that an author subconsciously knows readers will form. For example: the speed I prefer to read, whether I read aloud or in my head, how I imagine a certain character to appear, what a setting will look like, etc; these are all aspects that will vary from one reader to the next.  All of these things are described in the book but can only be truly solidified through the reader.  A movie has to make these decisions and ultimately decide what the viewers will see.  Generally I believe it’s difficult to make a movie out of a book because almost always the book is better due to creative freedom of the reader.  Especially in the case of the Beats, who believe is spontaneity and life in the moment– a film in itself just seems too structured to portray this.