Big Sur, review of the 2013 movie based on Jack Kerouac’s 1962 Novel, First Published in 1979, and What It Stirred In Me
Jack Kerouac was an author who was thought of in social circles as the founder of the Beatnik lifestyle. Another web site speaks of his previous novels being about a bohemian lifestyle. ( I have to admit longing for that lifestyle runs through my blood. I enjoy sights that promote van living.)
Big Sur is a book describing his difficulty having stability with his new success.
He gets social recognition but cannot seem to find peace with himself.
He feels like a fraud as he suggests they think I am 26 and hitchhiking across the country and I am really 40 something and bored out of my skull.
I suggest that hidden here in plain sight might be a truth that as a society we could not find our own life and need to have heroes or public figures that we can claim our identity through. If that destroys the individual we idolize who cares, he took it on himself to stand out.
I have witnessed this the nearly seven decades I have lived in western society.
He fights the human urges for companionship in his longing for the city, while in the beauty of Big Sur. Likewise, in his sadistic-masochistic need to bring the mistress into the presence of his old flame, and wife of his best friend, who sent the mistress to him.
Is that a hate/love relationship that I see? Not only with his ex, but with the best friend he is obviously jealous of and wants to see suffer, as well.
The mistress, like so many women of that era and yet today, longs for the security of marriage that gives definition and “normalcy” to her existence. As women, we like to blame that “chattel standing” we have endured on the men, but I wonder if we did not claim it as a cloak about ourselves to deny what we see as a burden to having an identity all our own?
That deal with the little boy was interesting. The metaphor of him in the ground. I wonder if Jack was not mourning the future of humanity as a whole. For the society he grows up in will have no logic, no reason, no solace, no comfort. Almost like, he is buried before he even gets started.
All of his freedom declarations as a beatnik of sex, drugs, and consumption without end led him only to battle alcoholism and disillusionment. No attachments, no commitments; or is this just my biased opinion?
(I would love to see a mobile society with small families, couples, and singles traveling and enjoying nature, and life and education according to our consciences. We would need to establish a society with rules that support such freedoms and does not cleave to archaic ideas that do not support the spiritual strength and growth of humanity. A two story house, three cars, and 4.2 children is not cutting it for everyone, not that those who want it should not be able to have it. A job you can retire from is nearly a thing of the past. But this is a topic for another day.)
All will go on, he decides; I think it was after a good nights sleep. “A possible love letter to himself” I saw in the description of the movie. I can see that. It will all work out. Life will keep moving. She won’t kill herself. Not as often anyway, as today. Yesterday we accepted much easier what was unacceptable.
The book was written in 1962. I was six years old. So this is the society that my father was living through. I wonder if it helped perpetuate his chemical addictions, along with the wonderful Korean war my father had fought in, right?!
Did it loosen up his morals and conscience so that molesting anything that walked was acceptable. Oh no, you say, you cannot pin that on one man or a movement. He has to take responsibility.
I was old enough to know my dad through the years when he was trying to make a decent life for his family in a society that made no sense and where the breaks just did not come. When they did, someone had to steal from him or break him down in some other form.
Blame it on his incestual background. Despite the fact that he tried to remove himself from it and them as much as he could. (Sorry family, if this was not so. Just going with what I was told. It was before my time and most of that generation are gone.)
Shit, blame it on the women, who cares if they were only eight or their only mistake was that they were breathing. Well, we could blame it on him. With his third grade education and wonderful society of support for the human condition. (Please, do not miss the sarcasm in that statement.)
I watched the man I loved destroy himself and what was around him, over and over again. Forgive him you say? Just move on. Better yet, dump his ass from my heart. I cannot do that. Pretend that we still do not live in a perception that denies health and happiness for all of humanity? That my grandchildren do not face the same dilemma; even if it is in a different form?
I will repeat that, Pretend that we still do not live in a perception that denies health and happiness for all of humanity? This is what is required in the act of moving on without looking at what we call reality and what we give to ourselves. I do not care how many years or how much money you spend to have therapists tell you otherwise.
All they want is a purpose. Give them a purpose and they will be able to survive anything.
I suggest the purpose is to forgive the Son of God for dreaming up this place of hopelessness and move forward in worthiness, because we are worthy, simply because we are. I do not care what your history is. I do not care how many you have killed in your mind or heart, or in reality. Yes, I just said that.
I do not care what your circumstance, is there is reason and purpose in the life that you have been given. Your weaknesses are so that you will forgive to the extent that you understand this just is not. This is how we will escape this nonsense called time and enter eternity that we have heard so much about.
For, my friend, the only truth is that God IS, and all is well.
These are just musings that I really felt I wanted to write and share. There is a lot of room for different interpretation. So watch the movie and let it speak to you.
Funny the things that a movie brings out of you isn’t it?
Till next time, Be well, God Bless, Namaste~