Friday, April 16, 2010

Beat Generation Update: Kerouac Football and Bukowski Stamp

Breaking news about dead people: Even though I have a picture of Jack Kerouac as my avatar on twitter and a picture of him on the right side of this blog I neglect to do many posts on him because I don't think people want to read anything about him. I do, though, and what would be the point of having Kerouac as an avatar if I never say anything about him?  Maybe I should change it since I really don't have much to do with my favorite literary genre, the beats. This blog has gone in a different direction and I guess it doesn't make much sense to keep any kind of association with Kerouac or the other beats. With that being said, I enjoy a certain blog and literary journal called Beatdom. They have had two recent pieces that caught my eye.
Not everyone knows that Kerouac played football. He was a running back in high school and at Columbia University for a short time before dropping out of college to write and be beat-y. It's true. Beatdom recently published an interview with a guy who played football against Jack Kerouac in high school. The interview is very entertaining. Among the highlights is Kerouac's high school nickname- "Twinkle Toes." I didn't know anyone ever actually had that nickname. Also, the old crotchety guy they interviewed that played against Kerouac said the bottom of piles in football back then were extremely dirty with biting, punching, and nut shots, and then called current generation of football players "panty wastes." He said Kerouac was especially dirty and the other players respected him because of it. Imagine that. The best part of the interview by far is this question and answer.
Q: I’m finding it kind of hard to believe Kerouac was such a viscous menace after reading his books.
A: He was a beast and a man’s man until he moved to NYC and linked up with that goddamn no-good Beatnik Allen whatever-the-hell-his-name-is and he started filling his head up with that love, peace and happiness crapola!
Hilarious. I encourage you to click above and read the whole interview.
Now on the Bukowski stamp front. How freaking awesome would it be if Charles Bukowski, the "bad boy of poetry," was on a postage stamp? He worked at the Post Office for a period and there was a petition I'm fairly sure I signed to try to get one of my favorite poets on a stamp, but it fell short of the 10,000 signature goal. Good news, though. The people who started the petition submitted the petition to the USPS and they are going to consider a Bukowski stamp. Nicely done, guys.

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