Lonely? You better believe it.

Alan Griffey on Jack Kerouac, Bob Dylan and the Beats

In a recent Kerouac Corner update (check it out), Bob Dylan is quoted at saying “I fell into that atmosphere of everything Kerouac was saying about the world being completely mad.”

I never got that from Kerouac, that the world was completely mad, and I think that this is Bob projecting his own present day thoughts onto Jack.

However, this still proves that Bob (be it his own feelings or Jack’s by proxy) has the poet’s knack of putting feelings into words, and catching the zeitgeist if you like (the spirit of the age), because
As I came home on a coach from Sheffield yesterday on a 400 mile trip on a sea of flowing traffic lights with millions of cars taking millions of people every which way and that like being lost in some huge electronic flashing computer game and none of them anything to do with me and the pretty girl next to me absorbed in her mobile phone (not at all interested in me you notice) first texting a friend or member of family then phoning someone, then reading a text, then getting a call from someone, then only stopping to eat a bag of crisps, before once again texting, cocooned in her own bubble till she got off the coach at Bristol. And we carried on some milky way of insulated (from each other) humanity to our own little road where we can call in on a neighbour and get a friendly welcome and offer of cup of tea, or feel confident to say “can I have a cup of tea.” But while, back on the coach, in that travelling sea of alienation of cars and stops and starts passing
corrugated iron boarded up building sites and skyscrapers with cold lights on like some fucking great ant-hill full of people we’ll never know I thought: “the worlds gone fucking mad”.

So much for dreams of the road, huh?


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About Alan Griffey

Alan Griffey is editor of the Beat fanzine, The Kerouac Rag. For a sample copy of KR, send £5 ($10) to:
The Kerouac Rag
Alan Griffey
Editor
43, Chatto Road
Torquay
Devon
TQ1 4HT
United Kingdom

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