The “Writings of Jack Kerouac” conference at New York University (June 5-6) is coming soon. Now a mysterious group calling itself the Unbearables is planning to protest “The Great Beat Sell Out” and has announced (in alt.books.beatgeneration) the following events:
June 4, 1995, 2:30 pm.
The University Theater, 35 W.4th Street
Rollo Whitehead walking tour.
June 5, 7pm
Biblio’s Cafe, 317 Church St, 212/334-6990
Jack Kerouac Impersonators Contest.
June 6, 7:15 pm
Town Hall, on 43rd St btwn 6th & 7th Aves
A gathering to protest exclusive & expensive reading of Kerouac’s poetry. Bring signs, banners and implements of conspicuous outrage. We’ll also be reading poetry in front of Town Hall for *free*.
I have no idea if these events are for real, but I did write to the person who posted the announcement (email@example.com) and received a friendly response assuring me that the events would take place. I still haven’t decided whether to go to the NYU conference or not (I don’t like to decide things until the last minute), but something tells me I’d find more spontaneity and Beat spirit at the above events than in some stuffy folding-chair auditorium inside NYU. What the hell does a $140 enrollment fee and a catered wine-and-cheese reception have to do with Jack Kerouac?
On the other hand, I’ve never seen Lawrence Ferlinghetti in person, and since he doesn’t show up on the East Coast often I hate to miss this chance. But still on the OTHER hand, Lou Reed had originally been listed as one of the speakers, and now he’s off the list. Hmmm …
See you at Biblio’s Cafe. Or maybe I’ll just stay home and read.