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Crispy Critters: Not If But Rather When?

So you think you are safe in your refurbished missile silos Bunky? Maybe the Starships should have been constructed BEFORE y’alls trashed the planet……

Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War: The Unspoken Crisis of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation

ONLINE READER

Global Research, March 11, 2013
Global Research 25 January 2012
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GLOBAL RESEARCH ONLINE INTERACTIVE READER SERIES

Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War

The Unspoken Crisis of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation

Michel Chossudovsky (Editor)

I-Book No. 3, January 25  2012

Global Research’s Online Interactive I-Book Reader brings together, in the form of chapters, a collection of Global Research feature articles and videos, including debate and analysis, on a broad theme or subject matter. 

In this Interactive Online I-Book we bring to the attention of our readers an important collection of articles, reports and video material on the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe and its impacts (scroll down for the Table of Contents).

To consult our Online Interactive I-Book Reader Series, click here.

INTRODUCTION

The World is at a critical crossroads. The Fukushima disaster in Japan has brought to the forefront the dangers of Worldwide nuclear radiation.

The crisis in Japan has been described as “a nuclear war without a war”. In the words of renowned novelist Haruki Murakami:

“This time no one dropped a bomb on us … We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lands, and we are destroying our own lives.”

Nuclear radiation –which threatens life on planet earth– is not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern, including the local level crime scene or the tabloid gossip reports on Hollywood celebrities.

While the long-term repercussions of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are yet to be fully assessed, they are far more serious than those pertaining to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine, which resulted in almost one million deaths (New Book Concludes – Chernobyl death toll: 985,000, mostly from cancer Global Research, September 10, 2010, See also Matthew Penney and Mark Selden  The Severity of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster: Comparing Chernobyl and Fukushima, Global Research, May 25, 2011)

Moreover, while all eyes were riveted on the Fukushima Daiichi plant, news coverage both in Japan and internationally failed to fully acknowledge the impacts of a second catastrophe at TEPCO’s (Tokyo Electric Power Co  Inc) Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant.

The shaky political consensus both in Japan, the U.S. and Western Europe is that the crisis at Fukushima has been contained.

The realties, however, are otherwise. Fukushima 3 was leaking unconfirmed amounts of plutonium. According to Dr. Helen Caldicott, “one millionth of a gram of plutonium, if inhaled can cause cancer”.  

An opinion poll in May 2011 confirmed that more than 80 per cent of the Japanese population do not believe the government’s information regarding the nuclear crisis. (quoted in Sherwood Ross, Fukushima: Japan’s Second Nuclear Disaster, Global Research, November 10, 2011)

The Impacts in Japan

The Japanese government has been obliged to acknowledge that “the severity rating of its nuclear crisis … matches that of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster”. In a bitter irony, however, this tacit admission by the Japanese authorities has proven to been part of  the cover-up of a significantly larger catastrophe, resulting in a process of global nuclear radiation and contamination:

“While Chernobyl was an enormous unprecedented disaster, it only occurred at one reactor and rapidly melted down. Once cooled, it was able to be covered with a concrete sarcophagus that was constructed with 100,000 workers. There are a staggering 4400 tons of nuclear fuel rods at Fukushima, which greatly dwarfs the total size of radiation sources at Chernobyl.” ( Extremely High Radiation Levels in Japan: University Researchers Challenge Official Data, Global Research, April 11, 2011)

Fukushima in the wake of the Tsunami, March 2011

Worldwide Contamination

The dumping of highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean constitutes a potential trigger to a process of global radioactive contamination. Radioactive elements have not only been detected in the food chain in Japan, radioactive rain water has been recorded in California:

“Hazardous radioactive elements being released in the sea and air around Fukushima accumulate at each step of various food chains (for example, into algae, crustaceans, small fish, bigger fish, then humans; or soil, grass, cow’s meat and milk, then humans). Entering the body, these elements – called internal emitters – migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain, continuously irradiating small volumes of cells with high doses of alpha, beta and/or gamma radiation, and over many years often induce cancer”. (Helen Caldicott, Fukushima: Nuclear Apologists Play Shoot the Messenger on Radiation, The Age,  April 26, 2011)

While the spread of radiation to the West Coast of North America was casually acknowledged, the early press reports (AP and Reuters) “quoting diplomatic sources” stated that only “tiny amounts of radioactive particles have arrived in California but do not pose a threat to human health.”

“According to the news agencies, the unnamed sources have access to data from a network of measuring stations run by the United Nations’ Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization. …

… Greg Jaczko, chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, told White House reporters on Thursday (March 17) that his experts “don’t see any concern from radiation levels that could be harmful here in the United States or any of the U.S. territories”.

The spread of radiation. March 2011

Public Health Disaster. Economic Impacts

What prevails is a well organized camouflage. The public health disaster in Japan, the contamination of water, agricultural land and the food chain, not to mention the broader economic and social implications, have neither been fully acknowledged nor addressed in a comprehensive and meaningful fashion by the Japanese authorities.

Japan as a nation state has been destroyed. Its landmass and territorial waters are contaminated. Part of the country is uninhabitable. High levels of radiation have been recorded in the Tokyo metropolitan area, which has a population of  39 million (2010) (more than the population of Canada, circa 34 million (2010)) There are indications that the food chain is contaminated throughout Japan:

Radioactive cesium exceeding the legal limit was detected in tea made in a factory in Shizuoka City, more than 300 kilometers away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Shizuoka Prefecture is one of the most famous tea producing areas in Japan.

A tea distributor in Tokyo reported to the prefecture that it detected high levels of radioactivity in the tea shipped from the city. The prefecture ordered the factory to refrain from shipping out the product. After the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, radioactive contamination of tea leaves and processed tea has been found over a wide area around Tokyo. (See 5 More Companies Detect Radiation In Their Tea Above Legal Limits Over 300 KM From Fukushima, June 15, 2011)

Japan’s industrial and manufacturing base is prostrate. Japan is no longer a leading industrial power. The country’s exports have plummeted. The Tokyo government has announced its first trade deficit since 1980.

While the business media has narrowly centered on the impacts of power outages and energy shortages on the pace of productive activity, the broader issue pertaining to the outright radioactive contamination of the country’s infrastructure and industrial base is a “scientific taboo” (i.e the radiation of industrial plants, machinery and equipment, buildings, roads, etc). A report released in January 2012 points to the nuclear contamination of building materials used in the construction industry, in cluding roads and residential buildings throughout Japan.(See  FUKUSHIMA: Radioactive Houses and Roads in Japan. Radioactive Building Materials Sold to over 200 Construction Companies, January 2012)

A “coverup report” by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (May 2011), entitled Economic Impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Current Status of Recovery  presents “Economic Recovery” as a fait accompli. It also brushes aside the issue of radiation. The impacts of nuclear radiation on the work force and the country’s industrial base are not mentioned. The report states that the distance between Tokyo -Fukushima Dai-ichi  is of the order of 230 km (about 144 miles) and that the levels of radiation in Tokyo are lower than in Hong Kong and New York City.(Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Current Status of Recovery, p.15). This statement is made without corroborating evidence and in overt contradiction with independent radiation readings in Tokyo (se map below). In recent developments, Sohgo Security Services Co. is launching a lucrative “radiation measurement service targeting households in Tokyo and four surrounding prefectures”.

A map of citizens’ measured radiation levels shows radioactivity is distributed in a complex pattern reflecting the mountainous terrain and the shifting winds across a broad area of Japan north of Tokyo which is in the center of the of bottom of the map.”

“Radiation limits begin to be exceeded at just above 0.1 microsieverts/ hour blue. Red is about fifty times the civilian radiation limit at 5.0 microsieverts/hour. Because children are much more sensitive than adults, these results are a great concern for parents of young children in potentially affected areas.

SOURCE: Science Magazine

The fundamental question is whether the vast array of industrial goods and components “Made in Japan” — including hi tech components, machinery, electronics, motor vehicles, etc — and exported Worldwide are contaminated? Were this to be the case, the entire East and Southeast Asian industrial base –which depends heavily on Japanese components and industrial technology– would be affected. The potential impacts on international trade would be farreaching. In this regard, in January, Russian officials confiscated irradiated Japanese automobiles and autoparts in the port of Vladivostok for sale in the Russian Federation. Needless to say, incidents of this nature in a global competitive environment, could lead to the demise of the Japanese automobile industry which is already in crisis.

While most of the automotive industry is in central Japan, Nissan’s engine factory in Iwaki city is 42 km from the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Is the Nissan work force affected? Is the engine plant contaminated? The plant is within about 10 to 20 km of the government’s “evacuation zone” from which some 200,000 people were evacuated (see map below).


Nuclear Energy and Nuclear War

The crisis in Japan has also brought into the open the unspoken relationship between nuclear energy and nuclear war.

Nuclear energy is not a civilian economic activity. It is an appendage of the nuclear weapons industry which is controlled by the so-called defense contractors. The powerful corporate interests behind nuclear energy and nuclear weapons overlap.

In Japan at the height of the disaster, “the nuclear industry and government agencies [were] scrambling to prevent the discovery of atomic-bomb research facilities hidden inside Japan’s civilian nuclear power plants”.1  (See Yoichi Shimatsu, Secret Weapons Program Inside Fukushima Nuclear Plant? Global Research,  April 12, 2011)

It should be noted that the complacency of both the media and the governments to the hazards of nuclear radiation pertains to the nuclear energy industry as well as to to use of nuclear weapons. In both cases, the devastating health impacts of nuclear radiation are casually denied. Tactical nuclear weapons with an explosive capacity of up to six times a Hiroshima bomb are labelled by the Pentagon as “safe for the surrounding civilian population”.

No concern has been expressed at the political level as to the likely consequences of a US-NATO-Israel attack on Iran, using “safe for civilians” tactical nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state.

Such an action would result in “the unthinkable”: a nuclear holocaust over a large part of the Middle East and Central Asia. A nuclear nightmare, however, would occur even if nuclear weapons were not used. The bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities using conventional weapons would contribute to unleashing another Fukushima type disaster with extensive radioactive fallout. (For further details See Michel Chossudovsky, Towards a World War III Scenario, The Dangers of Nuclear War, Global Research, Montreal, 2011)

The Online Interactive I-Book Reader on Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War

In view of the official cover-up and media disinformation campaign, the contents of the articles and video reports in this Online Interactive Reader have not trickled down to to the broader public. (See Table of contents below)

This Online Interactive Reader on Fukushima contains a combination of analytical and scientific articles, video reports as well as shorter news reports and corroborating data.

Part I focusses on The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: How it Happened? Part II  pertains to The Devastating Health and Social Impacts in Japan. Part III  centers on the “Hidden Nuclear Catastrophe”, namely the cover-up by the Japanese government and the corporate media. Part IV focusses on the issue of  Worlwide Nuclear Radiation and Part V reviews the Implications of the Fukushima disaster for the Global Nuclear Energy Industry.

In the face of ceaseless media disinformation, this Global Research Online I-Book on the dangers of global nuclear radiation is intended to break the media vacuum and raise public awareness, while also pointing to the complicity of  the governments, the media and the nuclear industry.

We call upon our readers to spread the word.

We invite university, college and high school teachers to make this Interactive Reader on Fukushima available to their students.

Michel Chossudovsky, January 25, 2012

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART I

The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: How it Happened

The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: What Happened on “Day One”?
– by Yoichi Shimatsu – 2011-04-16
Fukushima is the greatest nuclear and environmental disaster in human history
– by Steven C. Jones – 2011-06-20

Nuclear Apocalypse in Japan
Lifting the Veil of Nuclear Catastrophe and cover-up
– by Keith Harmon Snow – 2011-03-18

Humanity now faces a deadly serious challenge coming out of Japan — the epicenter of radiation.

VIDEO: Full Meltdown? Japan Maximum Nuclear Alert
Watch now on GRTV
-by Christopher Busby- 2011-03-30

Fukushima: Japan’s Second Nuclear Disaster

– by Sherwood Ross – 2011-11-10

Secret Weapons Program Inside Fukushima Nuclear Plant?
U.S.-Japan security treaty fatally delayed nuclear workers’ fight against meltdown
– by Yoichi Shimatsu – 2011-04-12

The specter of self-destruction can be ended only with the abrogation of the U.S.-Japan security treaty, the root cause of the secrecy that fatally delayed the nuclear workers’ fight against meltdown.

Fukushima: “China Syndrome Is Inevitable” … “Huge Steam Explosions”
“Massive Hydrovolcanic Explosion” or a “Nuclear Bomb-Type Explosion” May Occur
– by Washington’s Blog – 2011-11-22

Accident at Second Japanese Nuclear Complex: The Nuclear Accident You Never Heard About

– by Washington’s Blog – 2012-01-12

VIDEO: New TEPCO Photographs Substantiate Significant Damage to Fukushima Unit 3
Latest report now on GRTV
– by Arnie Gundersen – 2011-10-20

PART II

The Devastating Health and Social Impacts in Japan

VIDEO: Surviving Japan: A Critical Look at the Nuclear Crisis
Learn more about this important new documentary on GRTV
– by Chris Noland – 2012-01-23

Fukushima and the Battle for Truth
Large sectors of the Japanese population are accumulating significant levels of internal contamination
– by Paul Zimmerman – 2011-09-27

FUKUSHIMA: Public health Fallout from Japanese Quake
“Culture of cover-up” and inadequate cleanup. Japanese people exposed to “unconscionable” health risks
– by Canadian Medical Association Journal – 2011-12-30

FUKUSHIMA: Radioactive Houses and Roads in Japan. Radioactive Building Materials Sold to over 200 Construction Companies

– 2012-01-16

VIDEO: Cancer Risk To Young Children Near Fukushima Daiichi Underestimated
Watch this important new report on GRTV
– by Arnie Gundersen – 2012-01-19

VIDEO: The Results Are In: Japan Received Enormous Exposures of Radiation from Fukushima
Important new video now on GRTV
– by Arnie Gundersen, Marco Kaltofen – 2011-11-07

The Tears of Sanriku (三陸の涙). The Death Toll for the Great East Japan Earthquake Nuclear Disaster

– by Jim Bartel – 2011-10-31

The Severity of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster: Comparing Chernobyl and Fukushima

– by Prof. Matthew Penney, Prof. Mark Selden – 2011-05-24

Uncertainty about the long-term health effects of radiation

Radioactivity in Food: “There is no safe level of radionuclide exposure, whether from food, water or other sources. Period,” – by Physicians For Social Responsibility – 2011-03-23

71,000 people in the city next to the Fukushima nuclear plant “We’ve Been Left to Die” – 2011-03-19

Tokyo Water Unsafe For Babies, Food Bans Imposed – by Karyn Poupee – 2011-03-23

 

PART III

Hidden Nuclear Catastrophe: Cover-up by the Japanese Government and the Corporate Media

VIDEO: Japanese Government Insiders Reveal Fukushima Secrets
GRTV Behind the Headlines now online
– by James Corbett – 2011-10-06

Fukushima and the Mass Media Meltdown
The Repercussions of a Pro-Nuclear Corporate Press
– by Keith Harmon Snow – 2011-06-20

Scandal: Japan Forces Top Official To Retract Prime Minister’s Revelation Fukushima Permanently Uninhabitable

– by Alexander Higgins – 2011-04-18

Emergency Special Report: Japan’s Earthquake, Hidden Nuclear Catastrophe
– by Yoichi Shimatsu – 2011-03-13

The tendency to deny systemic errors – “in order to avoid public panic” – is rooted in the determination of an entrenched Japanese bureaucracy to protect itself…

VIDEO: Fukushima: TEPCO Believes Mission Accomplished & Regulators Allow Radioactive Dumping in Tokyo Bay
Learn more on GRTV
– by Arnie Gundersen – 2012-01-11

The Dangers of Radiation: Deconstructing Nuclear Experts
– by Chris Busby – 2011-03-31

“The nuclear industry is waging a war against humanity.” This war has now entered an endgame which will decide the survival of the human race.

Engineers Knew Fukushima Might Be Unsafe, But Covered It Up …
And Now the Extreme Vulnerabilty of NEW U.S. Plants Is Being Covered Up
– by Washington’s Blog – 2011-11-12

COVERUP: Are Fukushima Reactors 5 and 6 In Trouble Also?
– by Washington’s Blog – 2011-11-14

Fukushima’s Owner Adds Insult to Injury – Claims Radioactive Fallout Isn’t Theirs

– by John LaForge – 2012-01-17

PART IV

The Process of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation

VIDEO: Japan’s Nuclear Crisis: The Dangers of Worldwide Radiation

– by Dr. Helen Caldicott – 2012-01-25

An Unexpected Mortality Increase in the US Follows Arrival of Radioactive Plume from Fukushima, Is there a Correlation?
– by Dr. Joseph J. Mangano, Dr. Janette Sherman – 2011-12-20

In the US, Following the Fukushima fallout, samples of radioactivity in precipitation, air, water, and milk, taken by the U.S. government, showed levels hundreds of times above normal…

Radioactive Dust From Japan Hit North America 3 Days After Meltdown
But Governments “Lied” About Meltdowns and Radiation
– by Washington’s Blog – 2011-06-24

VIDEO: Fukushima Will Be Radiating Everyone for Centuries
New report now on GRTV
– by Michio Kaku, Liz Hayes – 2011-08-23

Fukushima: Diseased Seals in Alaska tested for Radiation

– 2011-12-29

Radiation Spreads to France

– by Washington’s Blog – 2011-11-15

Radioactive rain causes 130 schools in Korea to close — Yet rain in California had 10 TIMES more radioactivity

PART V

Implications for the Global Nuclear Energy Industry

Science with a Skew: The Nuclear Power Industry After Chernobyl and Fukushima
– by Gayle Greene – 2012-01-26

After Fukushima: Enough Is Enough

– by Helen Caldicott – 2011-12-05

VIDEO: Radiation Coverups Confirmed: Los Alamos, Fort Calhoun, Fukushima, TSA
New Sunday Report now on GRTV
– by James Corbett – 2011-07-04

VIDEO: Why Fukushima Can Happen Here: What the NRC and Nuclear Industry Don’t Want You to Know
Watch now on GRTV
– by Arnie Gundersen, David Lochbaum – 2011-07-12

VIDEO: Safety Problems in all Reactors Designed Like Fukushima
Learn more on GRTV
– by Arnie Gundersen – 2011-09-26

VIDEO: Proper Regulation of Nuclear Power has been Coopted Worldwide
Explore the issues on GRTV
– by Arnie Gundersen – 2011-10-05

VIDEO: New Nuclear Reactors Do Not Consider Fukushima Design Flaws
Find out more on GRTV
– by Arnie Gundersen – 2011-11-24

Nuclear Energy: Profit Driven Industry
“Nuclear Can Be Safe Or It Can Be Cheap … But It Can’t Be Both”
– by Washington’s Blog – 2011-12-23

VIDEO: Fukushima and the Fall of the Nuclear Priesthood
Watch the new GRTV Feature Interview
– by Arnie Gundersen – 2011-10-22

Why is there a Media Blackout on Nuclear Incident at Fort Calhoun in Nebraska?

– by Patrick Henningsen – 2011-06-23

Startling Revelations about Three Mile Island Disaster Raise Doubts Over Nuke Safety

– by Sue Sturgis – 2011-07-24

Radioactive Leak at Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station

– by Rady Ananda – 2011-07-01

VIDEO: US vs Japan: The Threat of Radiation Speculation
Dangerous double standards examined on GRTV
– by Arnie Gundersen – 2011-06-25

Additional articles and videos on Fukushima and Nuclear Radiation are available at Global Research’s Dossier on The Environment


TEXT BOX

 Nuclear Radiation: Categorization

At Fukushima, reports confirm that alpha, beta, gamma particles and neutrons have been released:

“While non-ionizing radiation and x-rays are a result of electron transitions in atoms or molecules, there are three forms of ionizing radiation that are a result of activity within the nucleus of an atom.  These forms of nuclear radiation are alpha particles (α-particles), beta particles (β-particles) and gamma rays (γ-rays).

Alpha particles are heavy positively charged particles made up of two protons and two neutrons.  They are essentially a helium nucleus and are thus represented in a nuclear equation by either α or .  See the Alpha Decay page for more information on alpha particles.

Beta particles come in two forms:  and  particles are just electrons that have been ejected from the nucleus.  This is a result of sub-nuclear reactions that result in a neutron decaying to a proton.  The electron is needed to conserve charge and comes from the nucleus.  It is not an orbital electron.  particles are positrons ejected from the nucleus when a proton decays to a neutron.  A positron is an anti-particle that is similar in nearly all respects to an electron, but has a positive charge.  See the Beta Decay page for more information on beta particles.

Gamma rays are photons of high energy electromagnetic radiation (light).  Gamma rays generally have the highest frequency and shortest wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum.  There is some overlap in the frequencies of gamma rays and x-rays; however, x-rays are formed from electron transitions while gamma rays are formed from nuclear transitions. See the Gamma Rays  for more” (SOURCE: Canadian Nuclear Association)

A neutron is a particle that is found in the nucleus, or center, of atoms. It has a mass very close to protons, which also reside in the nucleus of atoms. Together, they make up almost all of the mass of individual atoms. Each has a mass of about 1 amu, which is roughly 1.6×10-27kg. Protons have a positive charge and neutrons have no charge, which is why they were more difficult to discover.” (SOURCE: Neutron Radiation)


“Many different radioactive isotopes are used in or are produced by nuclear reactors. The most important of these are described below:

1. Uranium 235 (U-235) is the active component of most nuclear reactor fuel.

2. Plutonium (Pu-239) is a key nuclear material used in modern nuclear weapons and is also present as a by-product in certain reprocessed fuels used in some nuclear reactors. Pu-239 is also produced in uranium reactors as a byproduct of fission of U-235.

3. Cesium (Cs-137 ) is a fission product of U-235. It emits beta and gamma radiation and can cause radiation sickness and death if exposures are high enough. …

4. Iodine 131 (I-131), also a fission product of U-235, emits beta and gamma radiation. After inhalation or ingestion, it is absorbed by and concentrated in the thyroid gland, where its beta radiation damages nearby thyroid tissue  (SOURCE: Amesh A. Adalja, MD, Eric S. Toner, MD, Anita Cicero, JD, Joseph Fitzgerald, MS, MPH, and Thomas V. Inglesby MD, Radiation at Fukushima: Basic Issues and Concepts, March 31, 2011)


Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (Emeritus) at the University of Ottawa. He is the Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal and Editor of the globalresearch.ca website. He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003) and America’s “War on Terrorism”(2005). His most recent book is entitled Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011). He has taught as Visiting Professor at universities in Western Europe, South East Asia, Latin America and The Pacific, acted as adviser to governments of developing countries and as a consultant to several international organizations. Prof. Chossudovsky is a signatory of the Kuala Lumpur declaration to criminalize war and recipient of the Human Rights Prize of the Society for the Protection of Civil Rights and Human Dignity (GBM), Berlin, Germany. He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages.

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Navigating The Waxing Moon of March

Two most excellent Astrologers share there insights…..shall we?…….presenting Cathy Lynn Pagano and Carl Boudreau

 

The Cosmic Story: Pisces New Moon 2013

The Cosmic Story: Pisces New Moon 2013

seeker of truth
follow no path
all paths lead where
truth is here

~ e. e. cummings ~


Cycles and Paths

We come to the very end of our yearly cycle with this Pisces New Moon on March 11th.   This New Moon marks the astrological end of 2012.  We not only came through 2012 intact and hopefully inspired, but we came to the end of the 25 years of the Harmonic Convergence as well.  During those 25 years many of us worked to wake up and become self-aware individuals—and now that 2012 is past, we have to create a new life out of what we’ve become.

This year’s Pisces New Moon sets the tone for how we’re going to live in a new paradigm of life.  It’s especially appropriate because Pisces represents that vast ocean of feelings and needs that make up our humanity.  Pisces is our return to the Source of Life, the vast Collective Unconscious; when we dive in, we come back with the treasures we discover there, treasures that can be the foundation of our new life.  These are spiritual treasures that our culture has devalued and ignored for too long.  Our task, at the ending of an Age, is to heal our soul’s wounds, trust our Spiritual insight and envision a new way of being for ourselves and our world.

This year’s Pisces New Moon is especially powerful for many reasons. Just as Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac, the next sign, Aries, is the beginning of the new astrological year.  Since we are in an inverted moon cycle with the full Moon occurring before the New Moon in the Sun sign, the seeds we plant at this Pisces New Moon will bear fruit during the next Full Moon, which is in Libra/Aries.   If Pisces symbolizes a death to the old paradigm, then the Libra Moon/Aries Sun opposition in 2 weeks will give birth to the fruit of the seeds we plant now.  What has your soul been longing for?  Plant the seed of that desire—Mars the warrior god is at the very last degree of Pisces at this New Moon, and he will help you.

Pisces New Moon 2013

The salty water element of Pisces dissolves and purifies.  Neptune and Chiron in Pisces focus our attention on the purity of our waters – our drinking water as well as our oceans and seas, rivers, lakes and springs.

Without the waters of life we must endure the Wasteland, which pretty much describes our modern society.  With Mercury retrograde connecting to Venus, the Sun, the Moon and Mars in Pisces now, hopefully we’ll get the message that our waters, our emotions and our souls need to be refreshed.  And the way to do that is to follow our heart and let Love guide us.  When we turn within to meditate, dream and remember our true origins, we can engage these archetypal energies and bring them into the world.  Pisces reminds us that we’re not alone!

The Sabian Symbol for the Sun and Moon at 22* Pisces is: A prophet carrying tablets of the new law is walking down the slopes of Mount Sinai. This prophet is still walking, still contemplating the divine revelation s/he has received from Spirit.  The tablets make these ‘laws’ concrete in some ways.  So, the question is, do we listen to prophets who have had a personal revelation and make a new religion of it?  Or do we each go up that mountain and find our own revelation so that these new laws will be written upon our hearts?

Other Astrological Influences:


Pisces stellium:

With 7 planetary energies in Pisces we might find ourselves tuning out what’s going on in the world and tuning into what’s going on inside us.  That’s the proper way to show respect for these cosmic energies.  If you do turn within, you’ll probably find yourself having weird and interesting dreams, discovering some valuable and even brilliant insights and being filled with grace.  Who doesn’t want to swim in the ocean of Spirit’s grace?  We can choose not to, of course, and that’s when we get caught up in needing to control, to repress and to trivialize.

Uranus, Pluto and Saturn:

Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn are still squaring off, although their next meetup isn’t until May 20th.    These revolutionary energies set the tone for the next few years, and we can already see how this energy is manifesting, as it did in the 60s, as citizen protests, political and military intrigue, financial corruption, unemployment and pressing environmental and health issues.   Pluto aligns nicely with these planets in Pisces to add urgency and power to our visions and hopes for the future.

Saturn is also working with Pluto for the next few years, each inhabiting the other’s sign, moving together to transform us individually and collectively.  Right now Saturn is retrograde in Scorpio, adding its assistance to our dive into the deep unconscious, supported by Pluto evolutionary urges.  (Think: a really good wetsuit and oxygen tanks!)  It’s time to renew our collective life here on Mother Earth.

Saturn in Scorpio helps us look at the emotional component of our shadows.  What are we afraid of?  Why do we expect to be unloved and betrayed?  Why is it easier to go to war than to work for peace?  What can we do to work together rather than stand apart?  By working with our unconscious fears about life, we can more easily hear Spirit’s voice within and learn the Piscean lesson of trust.

The Sabian symbol for Saturn at 12* Scorpio is: An illustrated lecture on natural science reveals little-known aspects of life.  Pluto has finally reached the 2nd decan of Capricorn (there are 3 – 10* decans in each sign), the decan ruled by Taurus, the Builder.  It’s time to build a new culture, a new individual life based on a more holistic, spiritual foundation.  This symbol indicates that we will be learning new ways to work with both sides of the brain: the lecture is in words and pictures!  It’s time to understand Nature’s Laws and how we fit into them, because our new vision of life on Earth must acknowledge that humans are part of Earth’s ecology, so we can explore what our responsibilities are.

Jupiter and Mercury retrograde:

Jupiter and Neptune are considered the rulers of Pisces.  With Neptune holding down the whole fort as it continues its 14 year residence in the Piscean Ocean, we look to Jupiter to see what kind of help it can provide.

Jupiter is again moving forward through Gemini until it moves into the sign of Cancer on June 25th.  Jupiter in Gemini offers us many ideas, insights and mental puzzles to work with, but right now, the most important way it can help us is if its energy can provide us with larger, more spiritual paradigms of life and categories of perception.  We need to re-think LIFE: our religious beliefs—especially our fear of death, our social order, our consumer economy, our relationship with each other and to the Earth.

Then, because astrology is multi-dimensional, we look to Mercury, the ruler of Gemini and the power of the Mind, and see that it’s retrograding in Pisces.  Mercury in Pisces swims with the fishes, moving here, there and everywhere at the flip of a fin.  But the messenger god is picking up information from the Anima Mundi, the World Soul, about what is needed to enhance life on Earth.  We are the ones who will be receiving the information, so stay tuned in!

Once again we see two planets occupying each other’s home territory, and so they get along, even though these two planets are squaring each other.  This square becomes a good-natured challenge between the highest god and his messenger son: can we come up with just the right story, just the right belief system, just the right paradigm shift to get this ship turned around and headed on a new course.

Jupiter/Zeus was the god of the lightning bolt, the revelation of spirit.  His son Mercury/Hermes served him as psychopomp or guide to souls.  So call on these two planetary spirits during your meditations this New Moon.

The Sabian symbol for Jupiter at 9* Gemini is: A quiver filled with arrows.  The Mind is like an arrow – we can focus it and send it to its mark.  Make sure your Ego is working for the Self, otherwise the arrows can cause damage.

The Sabian symbol for Mercury retrograde at 8* Pisces is: A girl blowing a bugle.  This was the degree of the last Full Moon.  What did you become aware of then?  This symbol is a call to action, a call to rebirth.

Mercury just began a new cycle with the Sun on March 4th, and so it wants to be the energy of a new mindset.  Let go of old perceptions that no longer serve you or others.  Just as long as you hold your values in your heart and your imagination, you will never go wrong.

May you answer Lady Wisdom’s call.

Cathy

 

 

 

Scorched Earth And Dharma Bums……..Jack Kerouac 3/12/22-10/21/69

Happy Birthday to a hard core brother………..

Jack Kerouac

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Jack Kérouac

Jack Kérouac by Tom Palumbo circa 1956
Born Jean-Louis Kérouac[1]
March 12, 1922
Lowell, Massachusetts, United States
Died October 21, 1969 (aged 47)
St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.
Occupation Novelist, Poet, Painter
Nationality American
Genres Beat poets
Literary movement Beat
Notable work(s) On the Road
The Dharma Bums
Big Sur



Signature

Jean-LouisJackKérouac (pron.: /ˈkɛræk/ or /ˈkɛrɵæk/; March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969) was an American novelist and poet. He is considered a literary iconoclast and, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, a pioneer of the Beat Generation.[2] Kerouac is recognized for his spontaneous method of writing, covering topics such as Catholic spirituality, jazz, promiscuity, Buddhism, drugs, poverty, and travel. Kerouac became an underground celebrity and, with other beats, a progenitor of the hippie movement, although he remained antagonistic toward some of its politically radical elements.[3] In 1969, at age 47, Kerouac died from internal bleeding due to long-standing abuse of alcohol. Since his death Kerouac’s literary prestige has grown and several previously unseen works have been published. All of his books are in print today, among them: On the Road, Doctor Sax, The Dharma Bums, Mexico City Blues, The Subterraneans, Desolation Angels, Visions of Cody, The Sea is My Brother, and Big Sur.

Contents

Biography

Early Life and Adolescence

Jack Kerouac was born on 9 Lupine Road in the West Centralville section of Lowell Massachusetts, 2nd floor.

Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, to French-Canadian parents, Léo-Alcide Kéroack and Gabrielle-Ange Lévesque, of St-Hubert-de-Rivière-du-Loup in the province of Quebec, Canada. There is some confusion surrounding his original name, partly due to variations on the spelling of Kerouac, and partly because of Kerouac’s own promotion of his name as Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac. His reason for doing so seems to be linked to an old family legend that the Kerouacs had descended from Baron François Louis Alexandre Lebris de Kerouac. Kerouac’s baptism certificate lists his name simply as Jean Louis Kirouac, and indeed Kirouac is the most common spelling of the name in Quebec.[4] Kerouac claimed he descended from a Breton nobleman, granted land after the Battle of Quebec, whose sons all married Native Americans.[5] Research has shown that Kerouac’s roots were indeed in Brittany, and he was descended from a middle-class merchant colonist, Urbain-François Le Bihan, Sieur de Kervoac, whose sons married French Canadians.[6][7] Kerouac’s own father had been born to a family of potato farmers in the village of St-Hubert-de-Rivière-du-Loup. He also had various stories on the etymology of his surname, usually tracing it to Irish, Breton, Cornish or other Celtic roots. In one interview he claimed it was from the name of the Cornish language (Kernewek) and that the Kerouacs had fled from Cornwall to Brittany.[8] Another belief was that the Kerouacs had come to Cornwall from Ireland before the time of Christ and that the name meant “language of the house”.[9] In another interview he said it was from the Irish for “language of the water” and related to Kerwick.[10] Kerouac, derived from Kervoach, is the name of one hamlet situated in Brittany in Lanmeur, near Morlaix.[11]

His third of several homes growing up in the West Centralville section of Lowell, Jack Kerouac later referred to 34 Beaulieu Street as “sad Beaulieu”. The Kirouac family was living there in 1926 when Jack’s older brother Gerard died of rheumatic fever at the age of nine. Jack was four at the time, and would later say that Gerard followed him in life as a guardian angel. This is the Gerard of Kerouac’s novel Visions of Gerard.

Despite the future elaborations, Kerouac was referred to as Ti Jean or little John around the house during his childhood.[4] Kerouac spoke French until he learned English at age six, not speaking it confidently until his late teens.[12] He was a serious child who was devoted to his mother, who played an important role in his life. She was a devout Catholic, instilling this devoutness into both her sons.[13] Kerouac would later say that his mother was the only woman he ever loved.[14] When he was four, he was profoundly affected by the death of his nine-year-old brother, Gérard, from rheumatic fever, an event later described in his novel Visions of Gerard. His mother sought solace in her faith, while his father abandoned it, wallowing in drinking, gambling and smoking.[13] Some of Kerouac’s poetry was written in French, and in letters written to friend Allen Ginsberg towards the end of his life, he expressed his desire to speak his parents’ native tongue again. Recently, it was discovered that Kerouac first started writing On the Road in French, a language in which he also wrote two unpublished novels.[15] The writings are in dialectal Quebec French.[16]

On May 17, 1928, while six years old, Kerouac had his first Sacrament of Confession.[17] For penance he was told to say a rosary, during the meditation of which he could hear God tell him that he had a good soul, that he would suffer in his life and die in pain and horror, but would in the end have salvation.[17] This experience, along with his dying brother’s vision of the Virgin Mary, as the nuns fawned over him convinced that he was a saint, combined with a later discovery of Buddhism and ongoing commitment to Christ, solidified his worldview which informs his work.[17]

There were few black people in Lowell,[18] so the young Kerouac did not encounter much of the racism that was common in other parts of the United States. Kerouac once recalled to Ted Berrigan, in an interview with the Paris Review, an incident in the 1940s, in which his mother and father were walking together in a Jewish neighborhood in the Lower East Side of New York, recalling “a whole bunch of rabbis walking arm in arm… teedah- teedah – teedah… and they wouldn’t part for this Christian man and his wife. So my father went POOM! and knocked a rabbi right in the gutter.”[19][20] His father, after the death of his child, also treated a priest with similar contempt, angrily throwing him out of the house after an invitation by Gabrielle.[13]

Kerouac’s athletic skills as a running back in American football for Lowell High School earned him scholarship offers from Boston College, Notre Dame and Columbia University. He entered Columbia University after spending a year at Horace Mann School, where he earned the requisite grades to matriculate to Columbia. Kerouac cracked a tibia playing football during his freshman season, and he argued constantly with Coach Lou Little who kept him benched. While at Columbia, Kerouac wrote several sports articles for the student newspaper, the Columbia Daily Spectator and joined the fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta.[21][22] He also studied at The New School.[23]

Early adulthood

Kerouac’s Naval Reserve Enlistment mugshot, 1943.

When his football career at Columbia soured, Kerouac dropped out of the university. He continued to live for a period on New York City’s Upper West Side with his girlfriend, Edie Parker. It was during this time that he met the people—now famous—with whom he would always be associated, the subjects injected into many of his novels: the so-called Beat Generation, including Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, John Clellon Holmes, Herbert Huncke and William S. Burroughs.

Kerouac joined the United States Merchant Marine in 1942, and in 1943 joined the United States Navy, but he served only eight days of active duty before arriving on the sick list. According to his medical report, Jack Kerouac said he “asked for an aspirin for his headaches and they diagnosed me dementia praecox and sent me here.” The medical examiner reported Jack Kerouac’s military adjustment was poor, quoting Kerouac: “I just can’t stand it; I like to be by myself”. Two days later he was honorably discharged on psychiatric grounds (he was of “indifferent character” with a diagnosis of “schizoid personality“).[24]

After serving briefly as a US Merchant Marine, Kerouac authored his first novel, The Sea is My Brother. Although written in 1942, the book was not published until 2011, some 42 years after Kerouac’s death, and 70 years after the book was written. Although Kerouac described the work as being about “man’s simple revolt from society as it is, with the inequalities, frustration, and self-inflicted agonies”, Kerouac reputedly viewed the work as a failure, reportedly calling it a “crock [of shit] as literature” and never actively sought publication of the book.[25]

In 1944, Kerouac was arrested as a material witness in the murder of David Kammerer, who had been stalking Kerouac’s friend Lucien Carr since Carr was a teenager in St. Louis. William Burroughs was a native of St. Louis, and it was through Carr that Kerouac came to know both Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. According to Carr, Kammerer’s obsession with Carr turned aggressive, causing Carr to stab him to death in self-defense. After turning to Kerouac for help, together they disposed of evidence. Afterwards, as advised by Burroughs, they turned themselves in to the police. Kerouac’s father, unwilling and unable, refused to pay his bail. Kerouac then agreed to marry Edie Parker if she’d pay the bail. Their marriage was annulled a year later, and Kerouac and Burroughs briefly collaborated on a novel about the Kammerer killing titled And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks. Though the book was not published during the lifetimes of either Kerouac or Burroughs, an excerpt eventually appeared in Word Virus: A William S. Burroughs Reader (and as noted below, the novel was finally published late 2008). Kerouac also later wrote about the killing in his novel Vanity of Duluoz.

Later, he lived with his parents in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens, after they also moved to New York. He wrote his first published novel, The Town and the City, and began the famous On the Road around 1949 while living there.[26] His friends jokingly called him “The Wizard of Ozone Park,” alluding to Thomas Edison‘s nickname, “the Wizard of Menlo Park” and to the film The Wizard of Oz.[27]

Early career: 1950–1957

Jack Kerouac lived with his parents for a time above a corner drug store in Ozone Park (now this flower shop),[28] while writing some of his earliest work.

The Town and the City was published in 1950 under the name “John Kerouac” and, though it earned him a few respectable reviews, the book sold poorly. Heavily influenced by Kerouac’s reading of Thomas Wolfe, it reflects on the generational epic formula and the contrasts of small town life versus the multi-dimensional, and larger life of the city. The book was heavily edited by Robert Giroux, with around 400 pages taken out.

For the next six years, Kerouac continued to write regularly. Building upon previous drafts tentatively titled “The Beat Generation” and “Gone on the Road,” Kerouac completed what is now known as On the Road in April 1951, while living at 454 West 20th Street in Manhattan with his second wife, Joan Haverty.[29] The book was largely autobiographical and describes Kerouac’s road-trip adventures across the United States and Mexico with Neal Cassady in the late-40s, as well as his relationships with other Beat writers and friends. He completed the first version of the novel during a three-week extended session of spontaneous confessional prose. Kerouac wrote the final draft in 20 days, with Joan, his wife, supplying him bowls of pea soup and mugs of coffee to keep him going.[30] Before beginning, Kerouac cut sheets of tracing paper[31] into long strips, wide enough for a type-writer, and taped them together into a 120-foot (37 m) long roll he then fed into the machine. This allowed him to type continuously without the interruption of reloading pages. The resulting manuscript contained no chapter or paragraph breaks and was much more explicit than what would eventually be printed. Though “spontaneous,” Kerouac had prepared long in advance before beginning to write.[32] In fact, according to his Columbia professor and mentor Mark Van Doren, he had outlined much of the work in his journals over the several preceding years.

Though the work was completed quickly, Kerouac had a long and difficult time finding a publisher. Before On the Road was accepted by Viking Press, Kerouac got a job as a “railroad brakesman and fire lookout” traveling between the East and West coasts of America to collect money, so he could live with his mother. While employed in this way he met and befriended Abe Green, a young freight train jumper who later introduced Kerouac to his friend Herbert Huncke, a street hustler and favorite of many Beat Generation writers. During this period of travel, Kerouac wrote what he considered to be “his life’s work”, “The Legend of Duluoz“.[33]

Publishers rejected On the Road because of its experimental writing style and its sympathetic tone towards minorities and marginalized social groups of post-War America. Many editors were also uncomfortable with the idea of publishing a book that contained what were, for the era, graphic descriptions of drug use and homosexual behavior—a move that could result in obscenity charges being filed, a fate that later befell Burroughs’ Naked Lunch and Ginsberg’s Howl.

According to Kerouac, On the Road “was really a story about two Catholic buddies roaming the country in search of God. And we found him. I found him in the sky, in Market Street San Francisco (those 2 visions), and Dean (Neal) had God sweating out of his forehead all the way. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY OUT FOR THE HOLY MAN: HE MUST SWEAT FOR GOD. And once he has found Him, the Godhood of God is forever Established and really must not be spoken about.”[13] According to his authorized biographer, historian Douglas Brinkley, On the Road has been misinterpreted as a tale of companions out looking for kicks, but the most important thing to comprehend is that Kerouac was an American Catholic author – for example, virtually every page of his diary bore a sketch of a crucifix, a prayer, or an appeal to Christ to be forgiven.[34]

In late 1951, Joan Haverty left and divorced Kerouac while pregnant. In February 1952, she gave birth to Kerouac’s only child, Jan Kerouac, though he refused to acknowledge her as his own until a blood test confirmed it 9 years later.[35] For the next several years Kerouac continued writing and traveling, taking extensive trips throughout the U.S. and Mexico and often fell into bouts of depression and heavy drug and alcohol use. During this period he finished drafts for what would become 10 more novels, including The Subterraneans, Doctor Sax, Tristessa, and Desolation Angels, which chronicle many of the events of these years.

In 1954, Kerouac discovered Dwight Goddard’s A Buddhist Bible at the San Jose Library, which marked the beginning of his immersion into Buddhism. However, Kerouac had taken an interest in Eastern thought in 1946 when he read Heinrich Zimmer’s Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization. Kerouac’s stance on eastern texts then differed from when he took it up again in the early to mid-1950s. In 1955 Kerouac wrote a biography of Siddhartha Gautama, titled Wake Up, which was unpublished during his lifetime but eventually serialised in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, 1993–95. It was published by Viking in September 2008.[36]

House in Orlando, Florida where Kerouac lived and wrote The Dharma Bums

Politically, Kerouac found enemies on both sides of the spectrum, the right disdaining his association with drugs and sexual libertinism and the left contemptuous of his anti-communism and Catholicism; characteristically he watched the 1954 Senate McCarthy hearings smoking cannabis and rooting for the anti-communist crusader, Senator Joe McCarthy.[13] In Desolation Angels he wrote, “when I went to Columbia all they tried to teach us was Marx, as if I cared” (considering Marxism, like Freudianism, to be an illusory tangent).[37]

In 1957, after being rejected by several other firms, On the Road was finally purchased by Viking Press, which demanded major revisions prior to publication.[32] Many of the more sexually explicit passages were removed and, fearing libel suits, pseudonyms were used for the book’s “characters”. These revisions have often led to criticisms of the alleged spontaneity of Kerouac’s style.[31]

Later career: 1957–1969

In July 1957, Kerouac moved to a small house at 1418½ Clouser Avenue in the College Park section of Orlando, Florida, to await the release of On the Road. Weeks later, a review of the book by Gilbert Millstein appeared in The New York Times proclaiming Kerouac the voice of a new generation.[38] Kerouac was hailed as a major American writer. His friendship with Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and Gregory Corso, among others, became a notorious representation of the Beat Generation. The term “Beat Generation” was invented by Kerouac during a conversation held with fellow novelist Herbert Huncke. Huncke used the term “beat” to describe a person with little money and few prospects. “I’m beat to my socks”, he had said. Kerouac’s fame came as an unmanageable surge that would ultimately be his undoing.

Kerouac’s novel is often described as the defining work of the post-World War II Beat Generation and Kerouac came to be called “the king of the beat generation,”[39] a term that he never felt comfortable with. He once observed, “I’m not a beatnik, I’m a Catholic”, showing the reporter a painting of Pope Paul VI and saying, “You know who painted that? Me.”[40]

The success of On the Road brought Kerouac instant fame. His celebrity status brought publishers desiring unwanted manuscripts which were previously rejected before its publication.[14] After nine months, he no longer felt safe in public. He was badly beaten by three men outside the San Remo Bar at 189 Bleecker Street in New York City one night. Neal Cassady, possibly as a result of his new notoriety as the central character of the book, was set up and arrested for selling marijuana.[41][42]

In response, Kerouac chronicled parts of his own experience with Buddhism, as well as some of his adventures with Gary Snyder and other San Francisco-area poets, in The Dharma Bums, set in California and Washington and published in 1958. It was written in Orlando between November 26[43] and December 7, 1957.[44] To begin writing Dharma Bums, Kerouac typed onto a ten-foot length of teleprinter paper, to avoid interrupting his flow for paper changes, as he had done six years previously for On the Road.[43]

Kerouac was demoralized by criticism of Dharma Bums from such respected figures in the American field of Buddhism as Zen teachers Ruth Fuller Sasaki and Alan Watts. He wrote to Snyder, referring to a meeting with D. T. Suzuki, that “even Suzuki was looking at me through slitted eyes as though I was a monstrous imposter.” He passed up the opportunity to reunite with Snyder in California, and explained to Philip Whalen, “I’d be ashamed to confront you and Gary now I’ve become so decadent and drunk and don’t give a shit. I’m not a Buddhist any more.”[45] In further reaction to their criticism, he quoted part of Abe Green’s cafe recitation, Thrasonical Yawning in the Abattoir of the Soul.

“A gaping, rabid congregation, eager to bathe, are washed over by the Font of Euphoria, and bask like protozoans in the celebrated light.”

Many consider that this clearly indicated Kerouac’s journey on an emotional roller coaster of unprecedented adulation and spiritual demoralization.

Kerouac also wrote and narrated a “Beat” movie titled Pull My Daisy (1959), directed by Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie. Originally to be called The Beat Generation, the title was changed at the last moment when MGM released a film by the same name in July 1959 which sensationalized “beatnik” culture.

The CBS Television series Route 66 (1960–64), featuring two untethered young men “on the road” in a Corvette seeking adventure and fueling their travels by apparently plentiful temporary jobs in the various U.S. locales framing the anthology styled stories, gave the impression of being a commercially sanitized misappropriation of Kerouac’s “On The Road” story model. Even the leads, Buz and Todd, bore a resemblance to the dark, athletic Kerouac and the blonde Cassady/Moriarty, respectively. Kerouac felt he’d been conspicuously ripped off by Route 66 creator Stirling Silliphant and sought to sue him, CBS, the Screen Gems TV production company, and sponsor Chevrolet, but was somehow counseled against proceeding with what looked like a very potent cause of action.

John Antonelli’s 1985 documentary Kerouac, the Movie begins and ends with footage of Kerouac reading from On the Road and Visions of Cody on Tonight Starring Steve Allen in 1957. Kerouac appears intelligent but shy. “Are you nervous?” asks Steve Allen. “Naw,” says Kerouac, sweating and fidgeting.

Kerouac developed something of a friendship with the scholar Alan Watts (renamed Dave Wayne in Kerouac’s novel Big Sur, and Alex Aums in Desolation Angels). Kerouac moved to Northport, New York in March 1958, six months after releasing On the Road., to care for his aging mother Gabrielle and to hide from his new-found celebrity status.[citation needed]

In the following years, Kerouac suffered the loss of his older sister to a heart attack in 1964 and his mother suffered a paralyzing stroke in 1966. In 1968, Neal Cassady also died while in Mexico.[46]

Also in 1968, he appeared on the television show Firing Line produced and hosted by William F. Buckley. The visibly drunk Kerouac talked about the 1960s counterculture in what would be his last appearance on television.[47]

Death

On October 20, 1969, around 11 in the morning, Kerouac was sitting in his favorite chair, drinking whiskey and malt liquor, trying to scribble notes for a book about his father’s print shop in Lowell, Mass. He suddenly felt sick to his stomach, which was nothing unusual, and headed for the bathroom. He began to throw up large amounts of blood, and yelled to his wife, “Stella, I’m bleeding.” Eventually he was persuaded to go to the hospital and was taken by ambulance to St. Anthony’s in St. Petersburg. Blood continued to pour from his mouth and he underwent several transfusions. That evening he underwent surgery in an attempt to tie off all the burst blood vessels, but his damaged liver prevented his blood from clotting. Kerouac died at 5:15 the following morning, October 21, 1969, never having regained consciousness after the operation.[citation needed]

Grave site, Lowell, Massachusetts

His death, at the age of 47, was determined to be due to an internal hemorrhage (bleeding esophageal varices) caused by cirrhosis, the result of a lifetime of heavy drinking, along with complications from an untreated hernia and a bar fight he had been involved in several weeks prior to his death.[48][49][50] Kerouac is buried at Edson Cemetery in his hometown of Lowell and was honored posthumously with a Doctor of Letters degree from his hometown University of Massachusetts Lowell on June 2, 2007.

At the time of his death, he was living with his third wife, Stella Sampas Kerouac, and his mother, Gabrielle. Kerouac’s mother inherited most of his estate and when she died in 1973, Stella inherited the rights to his works under a will purportedly signed by Gabrielle. Family members challenged the will and, on July 24, 2009, a judge in Pinellas County, Florida ruled that the will of Gabrielle Kerouac was fake, citing that Gabrielle Kerouac would not have been physically capable of providing her own signature on the date of the signing.[51] However, such ruling had no effect on the copyright ownership of Jack’s literary works, since in 2004 a Florida Probate Court ruled that “any claim against any assets or property which were inherited or received by any of the SAMPAS respondents through the Estate of Stella Sampas Kerouac, Deceased, is barred by reason of the provisions of the Florida Statute §733.710(1989)

.”[52]

Posthumous Editions

In 2007, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of On the Road’s publishing, Viking issued two new editions: On the Road: The Original Scroll, and On the Road: 50th Anniversary Edition.[53][54] By far the more significant is Scroll, a transcription of the original draft typed as one long paragraph on sheets of tracing paper which Kerouac taped together to form a 120-foot (37 m) scroll. The text is more sexually explicit than Viking allowed to be published in 1957, and also uses the real names of Kerouac’s friends rather than the fictional names he later substituted. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay paid $2.43 million for the original scroll and allowed an exhibition tour that concluded at the end of 2009. The other new issue, 50th Anniversary Edition, is a reissue of the 40th anniversary issue under an updated title.

The Kerouac/Burroughs manuscript, And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks was published for the first time on November 1, 2008 by Grove Press.[55] Previously, a fragment of the manuscript had been published in the Burroughs compendium, Word Virus.[56]

Works

Style

Kerouac is generally considered to be the father of the Beat movement, although he actively disliked such labels. Kerouac’s method was heavily influenced by the prolific explosion of Jazz, especially the Bebop genre established by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and others. Later, Kerouac included ideas he developed from his Buddhist studies that began with Gary Snyder. He often referred to his style as spontaneous prose[citation needed]. Although Kerouac’s prose was spontaneous and purportedly without edits, he primarily wrote autobiographical novels (or Roman à clef) based upon actual events from his life and the people with whom he interacted.

On the Road excerpt in the center of Jack Kerouac Alley

Many of his books exemplified this spontaneous approach, including On the Road, Visions of Cody, Visions of Gerard, Big Sur, and The Subterraneans. The central features of this writing method were the ideas of breath (borrowed from Jazz and from Buddhist meditation breathing), improvising words over the inherent structures of mind and language, and not editing a single word (much of his work was edited by Donald Merriam Allen, a major figure in Beat Generation poetry who edited some of Ginsberg’s work as well). Connected with his idea of breath was the elimination of the period, preferring to use a long, connecting dash instead. As such, the phrases occurring between dashes might resemble improvisational jazz licks. When spoken, the words might take on a certain kind of rhythm, though none of it pre-meditated.

Kerouac greatly admired Snyder, many of whose ideas influenced him. The Dharma Bums contains accounts of a mountain climbing trip Kerouac took with Snyder, and also whole paragraphs from letters Snyder had written to Kerouac.[57] While living with Snyder outside Mill Valley, California in 1956, Kerouac worked on a book centering around Snyder, which he considered calling Visions of Gary.[58] (This eventually became Dharma Bums, which Kerouac described as “mostly about [Snyder].”)[59] That summer, Kerouac took a job as a fire lookout on Desolation Peak in the North Cascades in Washington, after hearing Snyder’s and Whalen’s accounts of their own lookout stints. Kerouac described the experience in his novel Desolation Angels.

He would go on for hours, often drunk, to friends and strangers about his method. Allen Ginsberg, initially unimpressed, would later be one of its great proponents, and indeed, he was apparently influenced by Kerouac’s free-flowing prose method of writing in the composition of his masterpiece “Howl“. It was at about the time that Kerouac wrote The Subterraneans that he was approached by Ginsberg and others to formally explicate his style. Among the writings he set down specifically about his Spontaneous Prose method, the most concise would be Belief and Technique for Modern Prose, a list of 30 “essentials”.

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 center-light pop, and everybody goes ahh…

Some believed that at times Kerouac’s writing technique did not produce lively or energetic prose. Truman Capote famously said about Kerouac’s work, “That’s not writing, it’s typing”.[60] According to Carolyn Cassady, and other people who knew him, he rewrote and rewrote.[citation needed]

Although the body of Kerouac’s work has been published in English, recent research has suggested that, aside from already known correspondence and letters written to friends and family, he also wrote unpublished works of fiction in French. A manuscript entitled Sur le Chemin (On the Road) was discovered in 2008 by Québécois journalist Gabriel Anctil.[61] The novella, completed in five days in Mexico during December 1952, is a telling example of Kerouac’s attempts at writing in Joual,[62] a dialect typical of the French-Canadian working class of the time. It can be summarized as a form of expression utilizing both old patois and modern French mixed with modern English words (windshield being a modern English expression used casually by some French Canadians even today). Set in 1935, mostly on the American east coast, the short manuscript (50 pages) explores some of the recurring themes of Kerouac’s literature by way of a narrative very close to, if not identical to, the spoken word. It tells the story of a group of men who agree to meet in New York, including a 13-year-old Kerouac refers to as “Ti-Jean”. Ti-Jean and his father Leo (Kerouac’s father’s real name) leave Boston by car, traveling to assist friends looking for a place to stay in the city. The story actually follows two cars and their passengers, one driving out of Denver and the other from Boston, until they eventually meet in a dingy bar in New York’s Chinatown. In it, Kerouac’s “French” is written in a form which has little regard for grammar or spelling, relying often on phonetics in order to render an authentic reproduction of his French-Canadian vernacular. The novel starts: Dans l’mois d’Octobre 1935, y’arriva une machine du West, de Denver, sur le chemin pour New York. Dans la machine était Dean Pomeray, un soûlon; Dean Pomeray Jr., son ti fils de 9 ans et Rolfe Glendiver, son step son, 24. C’était un vieille Model T Ford, toutes les trois avaient leux yeux attachez sur le chemin dans la nuit à travers la windshield.[63] Even though this work shares the same title as one of his best known English novels, it is rather the original French version of a short text that would later become Old bull in the Bowery (also unpublished) once translated to English prose by Kerouac himself. Sur le Chemin is Kerouac’s second known French manuscript, the first being La nuit est ma Femme written in early 1951 and completed a few days before he began the original English version of On the Road, as revealed by journalist Gabriel Anctil in the Montreal daily Le Devoir.[64]

Influences

Kerouac’s early writing, particularly his first novel The Town and the City, was more conventional, and bore the strong influence of Thomas Wolfe. The technique Kerouac developed that later made him famous was heavily influenced by Jazz, especially Bebop, and later, Buddhism, as well as the famous “Joan Anderson letter” authored by Neal Cassady.[65] The Diamond Sutra was the most important Buddhist text for Kerouac, and “probably one of the three or four most influential things he ever read”.[66] In 1955, he began an intensive study of this sutra, in a repeating weekly cycle, devoting one day to each of the six Pāramitās, and the seventh to the concluding passage on Samādhi. This was his sole reading on Desolation Peak, and he hoped by this means to condition his mind to emptiness, and possibly to have a vision.[67]

However, often overlooked[68] but perhaps his greatest literary influence may be that of James Joyce whose work he alludes to, by far, more than any other author.[69] Kerouac had the highest esteem for Joyce, emulated and expanded on his techniques.[69][70] Regarding On the Road, he wrote in a letter to Ginsberg, “I can tell you now as I look back on the flood of language. It is like Ulysses and should be treated with the same gravity.”[71] Indeed, Old Angel Midnight has been called “the closest thing to Finnegans Wake in American literature.”[70]

In his book Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors, Ray Manzarek (keyboard player of The Doors) wrote “I suppose if Jack Kerouac had never written On the Road, The Doors would never have existed.”

In 1974 the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics was opened in his honor by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman at Naropa University, a private Buddhist university in Boulder, Colorado. The school offers a BA in Writing and Literature, MFAs in Writing & Poetics and Creative Writing, and a summer writing program.[72]

From 1978 to 1992, Joy Walsh published 28 issues of a magazine devoted to Kerouac, Moody Street Irregulars.

Kerouac’s French Canadian origins inspired a 1987 National Film Board of Canada docudrama Jack Kerouac’s Road – A Franco-American Odyssey, directed by Acadian poet Herménégilde Chiasson.[73]

In 1987, a song written by Marc Chabot and featured on a popular music album released in Québec by Richard Séguin, song titled L’ange vagabond, explores some aspects of Kerouac’s life. Chabot associates Kerouac’s incessant mobility to a quest for identity and respect from others, among other topics.

In 1997, the house on Clouser Avenue where The Dharma Bums was written was purchased by a newly formed non-profit group, The Jack Kerouac Writers in Residence Project of Orlando, Inc. This group provides opportunities for aspiring writers to live in the same house in which Kerouac was inspired, with room and board covered for three months.

In 2007, Kerouac was awarded a posthumous honorary degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.[74]

In 2009, the movie One Fast Move or I’m Gone – Kerouac’s Big Sur was released. It chronicles the time in Kerouac’s life that led to his novel Big Sur, with actors, writers, artists, and close friends giving their insight into the book. The movie also describes the people and places on which Kerouac based his characters and settings, including the cabin in Bixby Canyon. An album released to accompany the movie, “One Fast Move or I’m Gone”, features Benjamin Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) and Jay Farrar (Son Volt) performing songs based on Kerouac’s Big Sur.

In 2010, during the first weekend of October, the 25th anniversary of the literary festival “Lowell Celebrates Kerouac” was held in Kerouac’s birthplace of Lowell, Massachusetts. It featured walking tours, literary seminars, and musical performances focused on Kerouac’s work and that of the Beat Generation.

Independent filmmaker Michael Polish is directing Big Sur, based on the novel, with Jean-Marc Barr cast as Kerouac. Filming was done in and around Big Sur. The film is set for release in 2013.[75][76]

A feature film version of Kerouac’s seminal novel On the Road is slated for international release in 2012, and is directed by Walter Salles, while being produced by Francis Ford Coppola.

In 2012, What Happened to Kerouac?, a re-mastered DVD of the acclaimed 1986 documentary, is being rereleased with a feature-length disc of new material from the original interviews. Those extras, called The Beat Goes On, include rare and unseen footage of Abbie Hoffman, Timothy Leary, Paul Krassner, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Gary Snyder, Steve Allen, Ann Charters, Michael McClure, Robert Creeley, Herbert Huncke, Carolyn Cassady, Paul Gleason, John Clellon Holmes, Edie Kerouac Parker, Jan Kerouac, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Father Spike Morissette.

Poetry

While he is best known for his novels, Kerouac is also noted for his poetry written during the Beat movement. Kerouac stated that he wanted “to be considered as a jazz poet blowing a long blues in an afternoon jazz session on Sunday.”.[77] Many of Kerouac’s poems follow the style of his free-flowing, uninhibited prose, also incorporating elements of jazz and Buddhism. “Mexico City Blues” a poem published by Kerouac in 1959 is made up of over 200 choruses following the rhythms of jazz music. In much of his poetry, to achieve a jazz-like rhythm, Kerouac made use of the long dash in place of a period. Several excellent examples of this can be seen throughout “Mexico City Blues”:

Everything
Is Ignorant of its own emptiness—
Anger
Doesn’t like to be reminded of fits— [78]

Other well-known poems by Kerouac, such as “Bowery Blues” incorporate jazz rhythm with Buddhist themes of Sangsara, the cycle of life and subsequent death, and Samadhi, the concentration of composing the mind.[79] Also, following the jazz/blues tradition Kerouac’s poetry features repetition and overall themes of the troubles or sense of loss experienced in life.

The story of man
Makes me sick
Inside, outside,
I don’t know why
Something so conditional
And all talk
Should hurt me so.

I am hurt
I am scared
I want to live
I want to die
I don’t know
Where to turn
In the Void
And when
To cut
Out[79]

Bibliography

Discography

Studio albums
Compilation albums
 
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Posted by on March 10, 2013 in Opinions & Oracles

 
 
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