STOP HIJACKING JACK! - by Neal Vaughan

Here's a quick one. The continuing Kerouac infestation of modern culture. I was listening to this story song on the radio recently and the artist, who shall be nameless but is well known for killing moons, went all Jack towards the end of a very long number. Through the night crackle air came a 480volt valve driven voice. Assaulting aural passageways in staccato. Tell like it is, tell it straight - Jack style. Punctuated real life. Where he's staying. Who he met. The artist's life as art. The everyday nothing made something by the telling. Even down to the voice. Like Jack reading On the Road on some late sixties talk show.

But. No adjectival overdrive. No keen societal observation. Just the style, no gritty substance. No cut through anecdotal insight. Why? It ain't the 50's, you probably didn't fight in World War Two. You're not pulling down the edifice of McCarthy era USA hypocrisy brick by stiffling brick. Your pen isn't picking at the mortar of white picket fence morality. Your keystrokes aren't laying the foundation for radical social change. You don't have anything that important to say. Few do. You ain't down to your last two bucks. You didn't bum it from New York to Frisco. You flew business. You stayed in a luxury hotel in Hammersmith for crying out loud. You ate at a trendy restaurant not a three bit diner. You got a contract, you got a deal, a pretty girl friend, you played a sold out gig.

You're good, I mostly like your stuff but don't hijack Jack. He's done it already. Dust off the dust jacket and read the real thing. Update him if you must, but do you're own thing - let's get on the road straight ahead and on from Jack.

Neal Vaughan is journalist en schrijver. Vanuit Engeland en nu Australië schrijft deze, meerdere malen onderscheiden auteur, zijn boeken, artikelen, verhalen en observaties.

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