IMAGINE - 100-years ago watching the first fragile bi-plane fly precariously from a makeshift runway - and someone shows you a photo of an A380... how would you have responded?


On account of the recent release of 'ON THE ROAD' - the film version of Kerouac's famous book - take a look at this little reflection of mine from a year ago on: THE BEATS. The Beats were innovators for a new 'jazzed-up' kind of literature, as I describe, to as near as possible resemble the music... inspired by pranksterNeal Cassady, rendered into prose by Jack Kerouac (as he read on TV in his musical voice) and into Beat poetry by Allen Ginsberg - most notably in his seminal masterpiece 'HOWL' (outstanding film version released last year). The book 'On The Road' represents the essence of this 'ordered' spontaneity, this escape from tradition, this journey into wild adventure... which in less restive form I myself attempted to emulatehere.

Tube shot by Rod:

Imagine the contrast: tube-station to desert. You're underground, waiting for a train to megatropolis nowhere... when, for no reason you know of, you suddenly turn 180º and facing you is the vast Arizona desert - so realistic you feel that you could just step over that edge into the space of it, into the dry sun-baked heat, and wander among cactuses and scrub, through the settling dust of Kerouac's car, to follow his trail into the parched open desert towards distant blue mountains of the soul...






The kind of 'event' or awakening that can provide a springboard for such inspired 'escape' I explain in paragraph-4 of a little item from last March - entitled: 'BIG OPTIONS' - ie:

Some of us, however, catch an early glimpse of what we believe is the TRUTH: some little event or chance perception that exposes a chink in the canvas. At first we wonder: "...did I see what I thought I saw, or was it a figment?" But once alerted, we go prepared, eyes skinned - for a while, at least. Inevitably, now, other chinks appear; they're hard to miss in a world spread with ambiguities, conflicting requirements, competing egos... And soon, some of these flaws will more resemble a gash. At first alarmed, we point these out to people around us, our peers, at least. They're at a total loss. What the hell are we talking about? Their perception, their focus, fails to see anything. It makes no difference how obvious or how large a gash looks to you, most people will be blind to it. It's outside their range of perception, doesn't relate to their experience. As the years pass the gashes widen and increase, so that while your peers regard themselves to be living in a finely decorated, optimally designed and well maintained 'arena', for you it's a squalid, dilapidated labyrinth that survival-wise resembles a jungle.

Lucky for you if you perceive this either when still young, or never at all. Otherwise, the shock of disillusionment can disarm, destabilise, even derange. Though for the open-minded it will be revelatory, illuminating - since to awaken to greater truths, to recognise you've been living a lie and are suddenly seeing beyond what was merely a clever façade can be a truly liberating experience: opening immense new vistas of unimagined range and clarity.