The internet is a strange phenomenon (as Kate Bush might say). Do readers here know how it works over on MySpace? You build up a network of like-minded people by viewing one another's pages and then sending out requests to be added as a "friend", which of course the receiver of the request is free either to approve or deny. (Yes, the language is rather juvenile, but it's really no different from a links section on Blogger.)
Anyway, I checked my emails this morning, as I habitually do (about 20 times a day), and found that I had a friend request from Jack Kerouac. Hmm. A clever screen name, I presumed, but I clicked on the link in the email to investigate and was taken to a site set up as if by the man himself as a showcase for his writing. By whom? Well, no clue, but I would presume the Estate have a hand in it, or his publisher. We are expecting the release of the "unexpurgated" copy of On The Road sometime soon, after all.
How'd they find me? Well, I'm an internet whore, of course. You could probably find out the size underwear I buy by googling diligently (except I tend not to wear any). I left a bulletin on one of the MySpace Kerouac groups alerting readers to the existence of my site "The Beat", too. If the Estate is running the new Jack site and they read "The Beat" my status as a friend of Kerouac (obviously I approved their request), will probably be rescinded fairly quickly, as I have strongly promoted the causes of their two least favourite people, Jack's daughter Jan and his best biographer Gerald Nicosia.
It will be interesting to see what happens. But at the moment peace reigns, and on the site Jack is listed as having 4 friends: Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, William Burroughs and Bruce Hodder.
I don't think I've ever been in better company.