Today, in accordance with Massachusetts State Law, is the fourth annual celebration of Jack Kerouac Day. Here is the text of the enabling legislation:
Chapter 43 of the Acts of 2004
AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE ANNUAL OBSERVANCE OF JACK KEROUAC DAY.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
Chapter 6 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 15UUUU, inserted by chapter 12 of the acts of 2004, the following section:-
Section 15VVVV. The governor shall annually issue a proclamation setting apart March 12 as Jack Kerouac Day, in recognition of Jack Kerouac's contributions to American literature and the genre of spontaneous prose, for his contributions to his Franco-American heritage, and for his love of his hometown of Lowell, and recommending that said day be observed in an appropriate manner by the people.
Approved March 12, 2004.
Frankly, I didn't see much evidence of anyone celebrating the day, although I did see this display at Amherst College of Jack Kerouac stuff in the collection of the Robert Frost Library.
Oh well, maybe there will be more done next year. In the meantime, here are some Kerouac quotes.
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!”
“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.”
"Write in recollection and amazement for yourself."
“Offer people what they secretly want and they of course immediately become panic-stricken.”
"All our best men are laughed at."
"I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life."
“What is the feeling when you're driving away from people, and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? -it's the too huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
"Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?"
Let's hope we see more in the way of public celebrations of Kerouac Day in the future. We should also push to make February 8th, the birthday of Kerouac companion Neal Cassady, a state honored day as well. Cassady went beyond the whole beat generation thing and ended up even more important to societal evolution through his role with Ken Kesey and the Grateful Dead.
Be sure to write to all your state legislators and demand the enactment of a Neal Cassady Day!
I read the news today, oh boy.
DRIGGS, Idaho (AP) -- Gilligan's Mary Ann is on probation after police in Driggs, Idaho said they found four half-smoked joints in her car after a surprise 69th birthday party. Police say they stopped Dawn Wells when they saw her car swerve across the center lines of a highway. A sheriff's deputy says he smelled "a strong odor of burning marijuana" coming out of the car. Wells was sentenced to five days in jail and put on probation. Wells cut a deal with authorities and pleaded guilty to reckless driving, so the more serious drug counts were dropped.
Here's the mug shot:
Mary Ann is 69? Damn that makes me feel old!
The sun is out now, but it was a dark, wet, dreary start to the day at UMass this morning.
Of course it's always a dreary view each morning out my kitchen window of the remaining ruins of the Northampton State Mental Hospital. Gazing up at it as I drink my morning coffee, it's a little scary even on sunny mornings, and no wonder since some pretty scary things went on there.
Which brings us to today's video: