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Queer Chicken Dinner

Queer Chicken Dinner

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Published by Ronald Thomas West
Queer Chicken Dinner, complete manuscript
Queer Chicken Dinner, complete manuscript

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Published by: Ronald Thomas West on Jun 19, 2012
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02/21/2014

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Queer Chicken Dinner
My Insincere Apologies to the Beat Generation
A rebuttal of Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’
Unpublished Draft Manuscript
© 2012 by Ronald Thomas West
This work may be electronically shared for educational and/or critical essay purposes. For profit & mass paper media redistribution prohibited.
 
 
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1 This endeavor began by accident or, alternatively had  been engineered by fate and the gods. I’d been perusing the International Herald Tribune (Global Edition of the  New York Times), May 23, 2012 and noticed the ‘On the Road’ (on the big screen) article in the culture section, about an upcoming screening of a new film at the Cannes festival in France. I’d thought to myself, ‘ok, it’s long  past time I’d read this book.’ So I bought ‘On the Road.’ The 'Penguin Modern Classics' edition of Jack Kerouac's 'On the Road' has a brief (23 page) background-characters biography by Kerouac biographer Ann Charters. At this point in my rebuttal, I'd read that and chapter one. My initial impression .. Neal Cassidy, the  bi-sexual Denver skid row kid who the central character Dean Moriarty is based on, is hardly representative of the western states 'spirit of freedom' despite whatever Kerouac, Ginsburg, Burroughs et al, impressions might have been. I'm not saying Cassidy is entirely devoid of 'the free spirit of the west', only he was not anywhere near a whole picture, but more like a factory damaged misprint. The kids I knew in my youth were probably ten times as dangerous and interesting. Likely the comparison to Gene Autry is correct, a lot of his act was tied up in acting, trying be something in actuality he was not. I'm putting my money on the thought the 'beat
 
 
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generation' philosophers in fact were conned beyond their ability to grasp just how conned they were, but mostly just self-conned. Bob Dylan (Zimmerman) stated about ‘On the Road’ “It changed my life like it changed everyone else’s” Well, Zimmerman got it wrong. There was this  phenomena I’d known in my teen years and as a young man, that was altogether uninfluenced by ‘On the Road.’ I will write this rebuttal chapter by chapter, not having skipped ahead. Each of Kerouac’s ‘yarns’ concerning the Rocky Mountain character particularly, and the western states generally, will be a fresh experience, my not having read ‘On the Road’ previously, when making criticisms and any comparisons to the ‘Real McCoy.’ We had what was known as ‘the line.’ The line was the old U.S. Highway 2 from Blue Moon Tavern at Columbia Falls to Freda’s Bar at West Glacier, Montana, in the 1950s, 60s & 70s. And it was every bar and pub  between. Kids from ‘up the line’ were known to be  particularly wild. The line was about 16 miles and 24  bars along a strip of pavement through what was in those days ‘wild country’ in ways that defy the stereotype. That wild country produced wild young people no Denver skid row kid could ever hope to compete with. A related personal note on so-called ‘Beat’ writers would  be, likely this is why I could never relate to the work of Gary Snyder, also I'd met Richard Brautigan when he was living in Paradise Valley in the late 1970s and found

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