Thursday, October 13, 2005

Man, I Love Me A Wild Horse

Hi. I'm Satisfied '75. I will be your host while TripleJ is away.

America 2005. Interesting time to be alive. But are there as many "interesting" people inhabiting this world as there were, say, 50 years ago? A lot of the folks that grabbed my attention by the collar have passed on. So my question is: who reels you in? Who is out there mixing it up...making shit happen? Let's hear from the peanut gallery -- boards are open, comment away. Here are a some folks I would have liked to have known had I had the opportunity.

  • Neal Cassady - The template for Kerouac's Dean Moriarity in "On The Road" and Cody in “Visions of Cody.” Ginsberg has alluded that Cassady is "N.C." is his epic poem Howl. This guy was a real animal...a wild card...goofball. Cassady is the key link between the '50s beats and the '60s hippie counter-culture. After falling in with writer Ken Kesey, Neal was introduced to Jerry Garcia who later described him as “a tool of the cosmos.” Heavy, no?
  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson - A personal hero of mine. Seriously. Thompson created a journalistic genre while playing by no one's rules but the ones he made up. To be a "success" and heed no doctrine but your own is no little feat. Hunter did both, and beautifully. I was saddened to hear the news of his death, but it made complete sense after reading his note. Everything was on his own terms, even his exit from this plane of existence. Thompson's final book, Kingdom of Fear (2003), painted a portrait of the grim reality that would take hold after Bush's re-election. Perhaps for him, it was time to check out.
  • William S. Burroughs - I have read Naked Lunch twice. Once in high school and once this past summer on vacation. At 17 the narcotic-pedophile-dopesick-ramblings made little sense. At 30 it still didn't make a damn bit of sense. BUT, his more coherent works (see Junky) and assorted essays are both entertaining and enlightening. Again, an outlaw living a subversve existance on his own terms. He killed his wife...got away clean, too. Innarestin' character, as Neil Young would say.
  • Ernest Hemingway - Saved the best for last. Papa Hemingway is the essence of cool. Having read not only his novels, but several biographies and historicals tales of the man, I can say he was the True Renaissance Man. He did it all and with style, finesse and character. I have, admittingly, co-opted numerous Hemingway traits/expressions/etc. over the years...for better or worse. From my interest in Cuba, numerous beards, and a love of booze to name but a few.

14 Comments:

At 1:08 AM, Blogger Luke said...

Too late for details...they'll come tomorrow. But for now, a list:

* With you on Cassady: no doubt.
* Thompson: I come and go on this one.
* Edward Abbey: talk about stompin' on the terra!
* Miles Davis: oh, to have learned the art of cool from the source.
* Ted Williams: never got to see him hit. Or fish.
* Ingrid Bergman: I'd go back in time for her. In an instant.
* Audrey Hepburn: ditto.
* James Dean: not sure I'd ride with him at the wheel, but...
* Ken Kesey: and those he cited in Demon Box: Cassady, John Lennon, et. al.
* Jay Hammond: an Alaskan and one of a kind. Passed away in August. A great loss. America needs more Hammonds. I encourage everyone to research this one-of-a-kind, true renaissance man. I got to meet him once...I count myself truly fortunate.
* Elvis. Think about it.
* Thomas Jefferson. Ben Franklin. George Washington.

Wow...too many to list. Love to see what others post...

 
At 10:28 AM, Blogger incognato said...

just a few in no particular order ...

-Charles Bukowski (inspired me to get a typewriter)

-Isaac Asimov (helped create the "Foundation" of classic Sci-Fi)

-George Lucas (either love or hate him, but he's an engineer [and bad script writer])

-Robert Rodriguez (funds Sin City with Spy Kids--always shoots under budget so his films pay for themselves--and he quit the Directors guild for Sin City)

-Drew Curtis (created the funniest news blog/board I’ve ever farkin' seen)

-Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (inspired me to become a reporter, I even liked Bluebeard)

-Tim O'Brian (Pick up "The Things They Carry" if you haven't already)

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger Satisfied '75 said...

These are great...keep 'em coming folks.

 
At 4:45 PM, Blogger CHW said...

PAST
Lenny Bruce
Frank Zappa
Joe Strummer
Frida Kahlo
John Coltrane
Ken Kesey
Bruce Lee

PRESENT
Howard Zinn
Ian MacKaye
Lou Reed
Neil Young
Steve Earle

 
At 5:33 PM, Blogger Luke said...

Oh, we can do folks what is still livin'? Or is that just for ol' CHW? Well, getting in on that act (in no particular order):
* Jon Stewart
* Bob Dylan
* The Dalai Lama
* Bill Walton
* Jim Harrison
* Tom Curren
* Neil Armstrong
* St. Francis
* Bankston, of course. Duh!

More from the list of those who've already passed:
* Teddy Roosevelt
* John Muir
* Aldo Leopold
* Mickey Dora
* Einstein
* Hemingway

To paraphrase Robert Earl Keen, the list goes on forever...

 
At 5:34 PM, Blogger Luke said...

Whoops...St. Francis is no longer with us, last I checked. Bad me.

 
At 7:02 PM, Blogger cgpop said...

*Thomas Pynchon: Supposedly hasn't been photographed in over 40 years, also wrote V., Gravity's Rainbow
*Don DeLillo: My fav author
*Matt Groehning: (spelling?) In my mind, my parents had The Beatles, I had The Simpsons (I still love the beatles).
*John Lennon: Plowed through Anthology a couple of years back, and he was my favorite.
*Milla Jovovich: Have you people seen those L'Oreal Feria commercials?

 
At 7:32 PM, Blogger JMH said...

*Miles Davis
*Jerry Garcia
*Johnny Cash
*Warren Zevon
*Hank Williams
*My one-handed great uncle Frank... he had a hook where his left hand used to be, to support his family he robbed banks in Northern California during the early 1950's. A real Robin Hood. No shit.

 
At 11:15 PM, Blogger Satisfied '75 said...

A hook? That is seriously BADASS!!

 
At 1:20 AM, Blogger jsbankston said...

Holy dog shit, Seldom--you're younger than I am, according to your profile! And all this time you struck me as an elder, mentoring type, sort of the Michael Jackson to my Macaulay Culkin....

I have too many heroes and villains (to rip off Mr. Wilson)to not ramble on them at length. I think I know what next week's blog will be now.

But as far as flamboyant relatives, lemme throw in my great-grandfather, Andrew Franklin ("Uncle Frank")Shelton, who rode to church every Sunday in the sidecar of a motorcycle until the age of 99, when he was finally put in a home. The older he got, the longer his ears grew. He got a call from Tricky Dick Himself when he turned 100, and he shuffled across Jordan at the age of 101. His sister lived to be 100, his son, my grandfather, only made it to 95, and his pappy was left for dead on the field at Gettysburg, but survived by eating the flesh of a dead jackass.

The moral? I'm gonna live long enough to bury all you sons of bitches!

 
At 1:32 AM, Blogger jsbankston said...

Apparently Uncle Frank was a popular nickname back in the day. I didn't even notice that was the name of the guy with the hook until after I posted.

But hook+bandit hero+ serious bad ass in my book.

I had a relative--um--how was he related? He was married to a sister of a great-great-grandmother, I think, and he raised my great-grandmother. So a relative by marriage. His name was Crockett McDonald King. His dad was an early Mayor of Houston and he was an unreconstructed Confederate. He had several kids, all of whom had normal names, except a son called "Rebel Confederate King."

He had a ranch and a three-story house near present-day Ft. Hood. In the Texas Hill Country in his day they had no sheriffs, so a group of men formed a vigilante group, ran out the bad guys, but decided they liked the power, and became essentially a criminal gang. It was called "The Mob." If you were friends with the Mob you could get away with anything.

Friends of the Mob frequently rustled CMK's cattle, and CMK would hang them if he caught them. Then the Mob would come to CMK's house to kill him, but he always disappeared. Many years after his death it was discovered that he had a trapdoor in his parlor that lead to a tunnel out to the river. My grandmother and great-aunt actually got to explore this tunnel when they were young.

 
At 2:02 AM, Blogger jsbankston said...

Dammit! I never could add!

 
At 9:30 AM, Blogger TripleJ said...

Nice work, Satisfied '75.

To these I would add:

Keroauc
Phil Ochs (the funniest, most poignant, political songwriter of the '60s -- and yes, in front of Dylan)

PLUS most of the ones included above.

Today ... novelist Richard Ford and a swan-after-my-own-heart, Bjork.

 
At 3:27 PM, Blogger jsbankston said...

That's a wonderfully crazed photo of Papa, btw. He looks like he's just about to turn the gun on himself.

I hear in the upcoming movie, "Papa," Nick Nolte has been replaced in the role of Hemingway by Anthony Hopkins.

 

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