- The Washington Times - Friday, September 28, 2007

‘Road’ reality

“Fundamentally, ‘On the Road’ is autobiographical. It’s a report … of four long-distance trips that [Jack] Kerouac made between 1947, when he bused and hitchhiked by himself from New York to Denver, and 1950, when he drove with [Neal] Cassady and another friend from Denver to Mexico City. … Kerouac is quite explicit about it: the trips in “On the Road” were made for the purpose of writing ‘On the Road.’ The motive was not tourism or escape; it was literature. …

“Despite his later talk about the spontaneous method of composition, Kerouac did not create the published book in a single burst of inspiration. It was the deliberate and arduous labor of years.”

Louis Menand, writing on “Drive, He Wrote,” in the Oct. 1 issue of the New Yorker

Campus update

“Cuts to Medicaid have apparently caused manufacturers of birth control to stop offering discounts to colleges and universities. Erudite New York [Rep.] Carolyn Maloney explains the coming catastrophic consequences:

“ ’It will mean that more college women will become pregnant in an unwanted pregnancy during their college student years. It will mean that many will have to drop out of school or face an abortion. It is a difficult situation to put college women in.’

“A better situation for many college-bound young ladies might be one in which they cross their legs upon arriving at school and keep them that way until they graduate. But of course this would negate the need for the numerous college programs designed to promote promiscuity and ready students for a lifetime of random and rampant sex: the very reason you slaved all your life to send them off to college.

“But it could be worse. You could be paying a ton of do-re-mi to Columbia University to help finance the lunatic ravings of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or similar anti-American brainwashing by liberal faculties. But at least they’ll be ‘sexually healthy.’ ”

Lisa Fabrizio, writing on “The Old College Try,” Wednesday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

Free speech

“I asked people protesting a speech [Monday] by Iran’s president at Columbia University whether they agreed with New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind’s statement that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ‘should be arrested when he comes to Columbia University, not speak at the university.’ …

“Two new acquaintances who saw eye-to-eye were protesters David Zucker, a 30-year-old Manhattan attorney, and Colleen Barry, a small-business owner from Great Neck, N.Y.

‘We’re at war with [Ahmadinejad],’ Zucker said. ‘It doesn’t make sense you would talk to him.’

…”He was holding a sign with a color picture of a young, pretty girl. It said, ‘My name is Shiri Negari and I would like to speak at Columbia too, but I was murdered when Iran gave money to Hamas to blow up the bus I was on.’ …

“Zucker continued … ‘If the U.N. weren’t here, I’d have no problem with [arresting Ahmadinejad]. He’s actively murdering our boys and girls in Iraq. They have shrapnel in their backs and faces because of him.”

“Barry agreed. ‘He’s saying what I was going to say,’ she said.”

Brendan Cooney, writing on “Ahmadinejad on Broadway,” Tuesday at CounterPunch.org

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