Friday, March 18, 2005

On Jack and Death and Dying

Today a judge ordered the tube pulled out of a vegetating woman’s body down in Florida. (r)epublicans in the Senate and House of Representatives, obviously with nothing better to do, spent some two days trying to pass legislation to prevent this. At one point, reaching the height of absurdity, the Senate invited her to testify.
Despite being an ideologue himself, the scribe has no use for this kind of philosophical commitment in government, which should concern itself with cleaning up dirty waters, filling potholes, finding people good doctors, and getting them to work.
These same folk who run around spouting the word "life" as if they invented it and only acted through the benevolence torturing their hearts won’t lift a finger for anybody who’s actually living.
We know their policy on health care (pay for it!) and one has to wonder who’s footing the bill to keep this woman alive (for lack of a better word). the scribe doubts they are interested in helping out financially.
They propose that we live in a perfect state of nature where your wits and talent get you a job or you go to hell for lack of either them [the wits] or luck; where any mistake or monstrosity should be born because life, rather than the quality of it, is what’s at issue.
But they do not speak for God, Our Lord Jesus or any other permutation of the Holy Trinity. They speak for corporations and chambers of commerce, spending the rest of the time on this sort of spiritual marketing and window dressing.
the scribe hopes Terry Schiavo finds a little peace and that those around her do, too.
Now it may seem heavy to go from that to this but you know the scribe really just wanted to do a little literature before signing off for the weekend. It’s just that that came up and got in the way of this.
This is a letter written by Jack Kerouac, another hero here at highwayscribery, which is a concept he verily invented all on his own. The letter is addressed to the great Beat poet Allen Ginsberg and written at an obviously difficult point in Jack’s life. Close friends are not responding to his eventual masterpiece, "On the Road," in a manner he finds very flattering and the missive lets them all know exactly what he thinks.
the scribe likes this letter. It demonstrates that great people stumble in taking the smallest steps, have feelings, and often worry what the hell the point of it all is. It also shows how friends who love each other deeply can suffer moments of deception. It is a lecture on the truth that people are usually wrong and right at the same time.
The letter can be found in "Jack Kerouac: Selected Letters, 1940-1956," from Viking Press and which is edited by a lovely lady named Ann Charters whom I had the pleasure of interviewing and meeting during a brief stint as managing editor at the "L.A. Downtown News."
Laugh, think, and enjoy.

No comments: