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June 14, 2007
On June 3, 1948 the American writer Jack Kerouac came up with a formula that he called a "batting average" to calculate his productivity while (re)working his first novel The Town and the City (published in 1950). He writes in his notebook,
|Jack Kerouac's 1948 "Batting Averages"|
CBA Note: Ted Williams' batting average on this date was .398
Babe Ruth died yesterday, and I ask myself: 'Where is the foundling's father hidden?' -- where is Babe Ruth's father?The journal's editor, Brinkley, provides a footnote to this entry: "The search for Babe Ruth's father notion was later used, to great effect, in On the Road, the search for Dean Moriarty's (Neal Cassady's) father." Kerouac's second novel, On The Road (published in 1957 but first contemplated in the summer/fall of 1948 as he finished his first book), is touring the country in its "scroll" incarnation as this year is the 50th anniversary of its publication. In fact, tomorrow marks the opening of the scroll exhibition in Kerouac's home town of Lowell, Massachusetts (& home of the Lowell Spinners, a New-York Penn League, Class A affiliate, of the Red Sox.)
Thirty-six feet of of the 120 foot On the Road scroll will be visible at the exhibition in Lowell. When one of the National Park Service workers responsible for the nearly three year project of organizing the scroll's Lowell exhibition was asked by a reporter what was the most interesting thing he discovered during the project, the gentleman replied, "Learning about the artistic process of the author. I'd almost like to go to the New York Public Library and get into his notes and notebooks." Although, curiously, when asked earlier if he was a "big Kerouac fan" the project worker replied, "Actually, no. I actually like to listen to Kerouac read his work, though. I could listen to him for hours. There's a certain cadence in his writing I don't get when I read that I do when I listen."
"Bud Abbott, the well known motion picture and TV star, is a collector of pornography and allegedly has 1,500 reels of obscene motion pictures..."
The business of pornography has, beginning in the 1960s, become a substantial industry.
"Whatever you've heard about how much Deep Throat earned, it's underestimated. I'd say that $100 million in gross income would be underestimated, and most of it was cash." (Lawyer representing pornographers, quoted in Los Angeles Times, June 13, 1982.)
Also in 1973, Kurt Vonnegut published his seventh novel, Breakfast of Champions or Goodbye Blue Monday. In chapter five of the novel, a character makes up a new novel about an astronaut who is introduced to another planet's pornography which consists of people being filmed while eating food.
More and more the sin of pornography appears not to be about looking at it or even performing in it. The sin of pornography is less about lust and more about greed. It's historic business model violates well-established anti-trust principles, at least. This cosmic game suggests that Abbott and Costello were not guilty of watching pornography...but many in the pornography business are guilty of greed with an appetite for wealth that could never be sated.
This particular cosmic game is of some interest since a non-humanoid team of pornographic films has been nominated for service during the 2008 cosmic baseball season.
Nicosia accuses John Sampas of telling authors interested in using materials from Kerouac's estate that they will not receive authorization if they cite Nicosia in their works. He also claims that Sampas had references to him and his biography removed from recently written books about Kerouac and other beat authors and poets. (abcnews.go.com)These are the surface issues but they should not mask some of the important subterranean conflicts that continue to unsettle this team as it tries to supplant the Paradise Pisces as the Cosmic Baseball Association's "flagship" team.
The LA Times' Josh Getlin reports that Gerald Nicosia, biographer of Jack Kerouac, blasted Viking Penguin on Tuesday at a press conference in Manhattan for allegedly removing his name and all references to his work from its books about the late author as part of a vendetta against him by the executor of Kerouac's estate. Nicosia added that Viking had bowed to executor John Sampas' wishes and removed Nicosia's name from books it is publishing on Kerouac and the Beat Generation. (mediabistro.com)
Mr. Nicosia told the Sun that he was subject to a "blacklist" and "censorship," which he believes are in part a response to his having supported a lawsuit in 1994 by Kerouac's daughter, Jan Kerouac, who had sued the relatives of Jack Kerouac's third wife and widow, Stella Sampas, including her brother, the estate's executor, Mr. Sampas. (gothamist.com)
The publisher of Viking, Paul Slovak, told The New York Sun that Mr. Nicosia's claims were "absolutely untrue." Mr. Sampas, who was Kerouac's brother-in-law, likewise said that Mr. Nicosia was looking for publicity. He called Mr. Nicosia a "stalker of the Kerouac estate, especially me, and has been for many years." (nysun.com)
This personal cosmic game was played to determine if there was any additional light that could be spread over the President Kennedy assassination theories. Kennedy's 1963 murder remains one of the great crime mysteries of the 20th century. Could the karmic events that might appear during the game provide more clues or concepts to fill in the spaces left open by the available evidence?
If the characters from Pynchon's second novel prevailed (& since the barely subterranean message of the novel is to be politically paranoid...the end of a chain reaction mobilized by Kennedy's assassination) then we might conclude with the conspiracy nuts that something deeper is at play. On the other hand, if the various princes representing the Thurn und Taxi family (and its identity with the ruling class, despite what some commentators say, creators and administrators of a wide area communications monopoly are members of the ruling class)...if the Thurn and Taxi team won the game, then we might conclude that what is...will never be known, for real.
The Lot 49 characters behind the pitching of Oedipa Maas won the game in the bottom of the ninth...thanks to Clayton Chiclitz' clutch two out single.