Kerouac Shlepped Here
According to the August 6 Off Limits, Woody Harrelson wanted to see places in Denver where Jack Kerouac had been. Sadly, most of those places are gone.
But the real bad news was delivered in your August 13 issue, with Jack Boulware's excellent article, "The Howls That Jack Built." How tragic that Kerouac's legacy today has dwindled into bickering over the remains of his estate--and selling a raincoat to a Hollywood actor with one-hundredth the talent of Kerouac.
I must first apologize, because I did not read the entire "The Howls That Jack Built"--only the first ten pages. I became more than disenchanted after such an ordeal. My major questions revolve around some timeless (in my opinion) questions: Why must everyone love Jack Kerouac and not what his works seemed to promote--i.e., getting out in the world and experiencing whatever might come to you? I've come to at least a cursory understanding of the Beat generation, and I'm intrigued by what I've learned, but it does not make me want to move to San Francisco or join a recent version of a Ken Kesey-led hippie commune in Palo Alto. Knowing and understanding time and place are the major discontinuities in your entire story/history.
On the Road is an impressive novel/work. That it caught the nation in a state of uncertainty and therefore made a great deal of money does not lessen its effect. In fact, if anyone was emotionally involved with the author of such a work, hell, they deserve any money they receive, in my opinion. But, please, do not publish stories about the "dark side" of Jack Kerouac, or Neal Cassady, or any of the other characters of such a generation, in search of more change. Why not let the legend live as is? Jack Kerouac personifies some very real aspects of life, regardless of whether he followed those concepts. It is much more important to understand the essence of feeling in the novels than the minute details. Unfortunately, in today's world, it is the minute details that garner the most press.
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So now that none of Jack's blood relations remain, the problem is that there's too much of the evil green left from the explosion of the Beat generation. Let's give all those estimated profits and properties to Ken Kesey--yeah!--and when he kicks, well, then let's give it all to some bum on Larimer street, but let's be aware that the bum might be driving a Mercedes-Benz. This kind of money-wrangling makes you sick, but, after all, that's life after the Beats. Are the only things left beating in the Beat generation lengthy legal battles?
Name withheld on request
That Old Geek Magic
Regarding Harrison Fletcher's "No Escape," in the August 13 issue:
The Amazing Lamont's table-side art form puts the likes of David Copperfield to shame. Lamont performs his prestidigitation inches away from one's senses instead of on television or working within the buffer zone of an orchestra pit.
Yes, Lamont is geeky: impeccable manners, immaculately dressed, fingers and hands of a lithe musician--but his corny jokes are pure Longmont. He is the only performance artist I've taken my daughter to see time and again. Unfortunately for those of us who can't get enough of his talent, Westword's local and Web coverage ensures an increase in Lamont's popularity.
Good for him, tough luck for us.
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Regarding Michael Roberts's "The Spice of Life," in the August 13 issue:
I suppose I can understand what attracts young kids to the Spice Girls. I certainly don't, however, understand what attracts parents to allow their children to emulate these half-dressed, no-singing grown women. It appears that the Spice Girls have addressed this young market because their talent falls short of one their own age.
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I hope Michael Roberts's daughters realize how much he loves them and what a sacrifice he made for them (at least in a few years). Giving up seeing the Beastie Boys (probably for free) to sit through the Spice Girls (with the fifth one or not) with his daughters is the ultimate show of love. If that isn't proof of love, I don't know what is. The article was very amusing! Keep up the great work.
Also, regarding KTCL's firing of Caroline Corley (Feedback, August 6) and Robert Carney's August 13 letter:
Firing Caroline was a huge mistake on the part of evil Jacor. I hope she finds a radio station to work for that really deserves her talent and knowledge. KTCL, along with most if not all commercial radio stations, has been forced to program everything: every song, break, commercial, phone call and "request." But the really sad part is that hardly anyone cares.
There are a few who volunteer at public radio stations and, like Mr. Carney, write letters or voice ideas, but the majority of people in America don't care. They don't care if the songs are the same boring Eighties hits, the watered-down bubble-gum pop, the supposedly "new" songs that have been available for months, or more commercials being played than music. At this point, it seems that we need no DJs or radio stations at all--maybe just some computers patched through to translators, playing a continuous pop music/commercial loop. KTCL was my final hope, and even it has proved to me that CDs are the only way.
Commercial radio sucks!
Lelah Simon (age 13)
I moved from Denver ten long years ago. I just found Westword's Web site and remembered many of the writers' names and enjoyed their articles. Thanks for making your paper available on the Web. I particularly enjoyed the Best of Denver 1998--some of the best from ten years ago are still the best today! Keep up the good work.
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