Neal Cassady/Dean Moriarty/Dean Winchester - The similarities between the ‘On The Road’ protagonist and Dean Winchester

Jack Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’ and a general introduction to The Beats

Jack Kerouac travelled across the USA with his friend Neal Cassady in the 1950s, and wrote about his travels in the book ‘On The Road’. Along with his friends William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and others, this group of friends (all of which were writers) declared themselves as The Beats – a play on words of both to be ‘beat down’ and also the more positive ‘beatific’. Along with Allen Ginsberg’s most known poem ‘Howl’, this work and ‘On the Road’ cemented this small group of writers in the American literary canon.

The Beats were inspired by Modernist poets such as William Carlos Williams, as well as the booming jazz musicians of the 1940s and 1950s, and Transcendentalist writers such as Thoreau, Whitman, and Emerson. ‘On the Road’ combines the sounds of scat singing in jazz, with transcendentalist philosophies, and tropes of American road literature. ‘On the Road’ is cool, in tune with nature, and details the philosophical and literal freedom of speeding down the highway across American.

Both Sal Paradise (Jack Kerouac) and Dean Moriarty (Neal Cassady) in On The Road travel across the states in search of something, whether that is something physical like human connection, or more importantly something spiritual.

Neal Cassady

In the winter of 1946 Neal Cassady drove into New York and met Jack Kerouac and his friends.

Cassady was born in Salt Lake City in 1926 and spent his childhood travelling around the western states with his father who was a chronic alcoholic which resulted in him being unemployed for long periods and thus hoboing around the States. This resulted in Cassady being both independent and irresponsible. Although he was very intelligent, he never stayed in one place long enough to attend school regularly and spent much of his time in Denver pool halls, stealing cars for fun, and going to reform school. He was good looking and a highly sexual person with a huge sexual appetite which he tried to satiate at every opportunity. When he arrived in New York he was married to LuAnne Henderson (with whom he cheated on continuously). In the late 1940s he started sleeping with Allen Ginsberg, who wrote Howl in which Neal is written in as the hero of the poem. In 1966 he died by the side of a railroad track after walking home drunk after a wedding. (The Beat Generation, Christopher Gair)

Cassady was energetic, drove fast (some friends of his were scared to be in the same car as him), stole cars, hustled people at pool, drank to excess, got into trouble with the police, and had a lot of sex with both genders. Whilst Kerouac was more bookish and quiet, Neal was an energetic and outgoing character who was ‘sharp, witty, gregarious, and lived for excitement and sexual conquests.’ (I Celebrate Myself, 81).

(Neal Cassady)

Neal Cassady and Allen Ginsberg

In 1947, Allen reveled in a wild sexual weekend with Neal. Allen hoped that he could teach Neal about literature, and Neal could teach him about sex. Whilst other people simply saw Neal as a con man, Allen knew there was more to him. Allen fell in love with him instantly but Neal quickly got bored and always needed to be on the move as he could never stay in one place for too long. They continuously wrote to each other, however whilst Allen poured his heart out to Neal and in the early years hoped to be his partner, Neal tried to impress upon Allen that he was not interested in a long term homosexual affair. They both slept together in 1947, and certainly until 1955 (possibly later) they continued to sleep together sporadically.

Supernatural and On The Road

Eric Kripke has stated that Sam and Dean are based off the characters from On The Road (Sal and Dean). In the episode in S4 where Chuck is introduced and they go into a comic book store where the owner asks if they are larping, at one point asking if their names are ‘Sal and Dane’. So, it is quite clear that their names are based off On The Road.

Also, On the Road is a semi-fictional/semi-autobiographical work. The characters in the book are based off real life people, much like how the Supernatural books are based off the lives of Sam and Dean.

On The Road is a foremost example of American Road fiction – two guys driving across the states in a car searching for something – sounds pretty much the same as the premise for Supernatural. Take away the ghosts and hunting and Supernatural is about two guys driving across the states, with no place they’re really heading, meeting people, listening to music, hustling pool, and getting into trouble with the police. That could also be a great summary of On The Road.

Specifically in the early seasons, Supernatural sets itself up as a Road movie, but on TV. It is cool, the guys are cool, the music used is cool, they drink, steal cars, and live a free life on the road.

On the Road has two main protagonists; Sal and Dean. Sal is more bookish and quiet, slightly in awe of Dean’s wild ways. Whilst in Supernatural Sam is more bookish and quiet, both in awe and disgruntled about Dean’s wilder ways.

I mean….. come ON

Neal Cassady and Dean Winchester

Lets go over again what Neal Cassady (who Dean Moriarty was based on) was like;

- He spent his childhood travelling around the western states with his father.

- His father was a chronic alcoholic which resulted in him being unemployed for long periods and thus hoboing around the States.

- Cassady (due to his upbringing) was both independent and irresponsible.

- Although he was very intelligent, he never stayed in one place long enough    to attend school regularly.

- Although he never had a formal education, in his 20s he started reading a great deal.

- He could never stay in one place for too long, both as a child, teen, and adult.

- He spent much of his time in Denver pool halls

- He stole cars, loved cars, was good at fixing cars. 

- He went to reform school.

- He was good looking in a jock kind of way.

- He was a highly sexual person with a huge sexual appetite which he tried to satiate at every opportunity.

- He drank a lot and took drugs, but mainly drank.

- He slept with both men and women, notably Allen Ginsberg who was friends with both Cassady and Kerouac.

- Although he slept with both men and women, he presented himself to most people as heterosexual. It is worth noting that he was alive during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, and being bisexual or gay was incredibly difficult during those years. Neal was somewhat of a celebrity and it is understandable that Neal denied his attraction to men.

- He was energetic.

- He loved cars and drove incredibly fast

- He hustled pool.

- He got in trouble with the police.

- He was sharp, witty, and funny.

- He was likened to a James Dean kind of person.

I don’t think there is any need for me to go through each of these points and give evidence as to how Dean Winchester fits every single one of these character traits as well. I would expect any viewer of the show to look at that list and assume that one is describing Dean Winchester. From the alcoholic father who drove with him round the States, to his own excessive drinking, need for sex, intelligence yet lack of education, hustling of pool, stealing cars….. you get the idea. They are highly highly highly similar.

The bisexuality question

It is common knowledge that Neal Cassady slept with both men and women, and the similarities between Neal and Dean Winchester are so strong that it would be easy to argue that because Neal Cassady sleeps with men and women, so does Dean Winchester. Every single description of Cassady could apply to Dean Winchester, so it doesn’t make sense to say ‘every single one applies apart from the bisexuality.’ Of course, there are aspects of both Cassady and Dean Winchester which don’t match up, however the core information about Cassady which readers and scholars know about does match up.

I hope this has been a good introduction to Neal Cassady and Dean Winchester. This is my basic summary of this discussion, however if you have more questions then don’t hesitate to send in an ask! My undergraduate and postgraduate research focuses were the Beats and American Road Narratives so if you want to know more about any of this let me know :) 

I’m also thinking of writing a bit about Allen Ginsberg and Cas, as well as some stuff on SPN and spirituality in particular transcendentalism and Buddhism, so I’ll try and get that done at some point. Any general questions about the Beats, especially Ginsberg I am more than happy to answer :)

anonymous asked:

Do you have any criticisms of Mao?

yes. the four pests campaign was a disaster, i dont agree with the purging of peng dehuai, there were holes in his self-criticism of the GLF, i think there was failure to consolidate ML and anti-revisionism within upper echelons of the party, particularly those aligned with zhou enlai, three worlds theory was absolutely reactionary and definitely helped consolidating a capitalist roader base before the arrests of the gang of four, aligning with the US and allowing nixon into the country was a mistake, tjere wasnt a large enough effort to maintain peace in the gpcr, and deng and hua shouldve been shot straight up.

Grimoire Prompt Eight - Find a Witchy Poem and Make an Entry

Welcome to Grimoire Prompt Number Eight!

For me the written word has always had an immense power, which is one of the reasons I write my own poetry. I also love reading poetry by other authors, and not many things can give me such goosebumps as a really evocative poem. 

I also love how some poetry can call up a really magic imagery, and so this entry is about finding a witchy poem that you like, and then illustrate it in a manner you see fit and include it in your grimoire!

Poems can be used as prayers, or even included in rituals to create atmosphere and/or honour the gods. 

Now, the poem that you choose has to be witchy for you, so whatever that is, as long as you feel it is suitable, is perfect! 

I chose one by the mother of modern witchcraft, Doreen Valiente, who has written some absolutely stunning poems. 

I decided to illustrate the poem I found with a graphite sketch on some coffee coloured paper, and glue it into my grimoire. =)

Here is the text in a digital version: 

She passes through the village street
As evening shadowsfall.
The full moon climbs the winter sky,
the trees are bare and tall.

What is the secret that they share,
shadow and moon and tree,
And little laughing breeze that makes
the dead leaves dance with glee?

The know their kin. The owl cries
his greeting out to her.
Now the last house and garden’s past,
The Down’s ridge rises bare.

A climbing moonlit path she sees,
That was a trodden road
Ere conquering Rome or Norman proud
o’er Downland ever strode.

It leads to where, beneath the turf,
the outlines she can trace
of barrow and of sacred ring
that mark the Old Gods’ place.

The moon rides high. The years roll back
are with her garments shed.
Naked she dances out the ring
first wrought by hands long dead.

The blood leaps wild within her veins,
as swifter spins the dance.
Her wide eyes fixed upon the moon,
Her senses rapt in trance.

And though no feet of flesh and blood
walked with her to that ground,
she knows she does not dance alone
That magic circle’s round.

-Doreen Valiente

I keep getting goosebumps reading it! 

I’d love to see your results, so please share! Post the results, and show me how it goes! I’ll track the tag ‘scandi-priestess’ to keep an eye out!

my burning questions

- Is it just like, really obscenely easy to sneak up on a racecar from behind because they don’t have side-view mirrors? I’ll bet it is, isn’t it. It totally is. >:D

- Would Cruz mourn her side-view mirrors if the Piston Cup officials mandated she remove them if she plans to continue racing?

- Though, Lightning is allowed to have headlights, and doesn’t even have to tape over them, so… 

- Did Lightning have headlights put in so he could lead a less hazardous life in the real world, in Radiator Springs?

- Or has he experimented in other kinds of racing besides the Piston Cup, and raced professionally as an endurance racer, too?

- (BOTH?)

- Like, that’s what the World Grand Prix was, right? A series of endurance races?

- But he had headlights before he even knew he’d be racing in it, right? And when the announcers at the World Grand Prix suggest that he might be the “best all-around racer” on the track, did they just mean “on dirt and on pavement” or did they actually mean across completely different racing sports? I mean, all kinds of cars are already all racing together in the Piston Cup (and definitely in that World Grand Prix) so maybe cars can just like, study abroad and race in some other motorsport for a season.

- Cue Lightning’s second career as a rally car or an off-roader.

At exactly two minutes to midnight, [Owen] heard the growl of an engine and then a big black off-roader appeared around the corner, blue lights flickering in the windscreen. The SUV skidded to a halt right next to him, TORCHWOOD stencilled in black on the rain-speckled wing.
The passenger door popped open, and Owen peered inside. ‘Going my way?’ he asked with more than a hint of sarcasm.
The interior was illuminated by a complicated range of VDUs and dashboard controls. Captain Jack Harkness was at the wheel, a broad grin on his face. ‘All the way,’ he said.

Something In The Water by Trevor Baxendale (Torchwood Novels #4)

And so it begins… with the classic subtlety that is Torchwood.


Jeep Does It Again:

Sticking with Jeep tradition, they’ve just announced 6 new concepts for the Moab Easter Jeep Safari.

Concepts are as follows in descending order, left to right; the Kaiser M715 inspired ’Crew Chief 715′, a lifted Wrangler with digi-camo wrap called the ’Trailstorm’, the shortened CJ5-inspired ‘Shortcut’, the Fiat soft roader ‘Renegade Commander, another Fiat soft roader called the ‘Comanche’, and last but not least the super-green ‘Trailcat’ that is basically a wider, stockier Wrangler with a 707-hp supercharged Hellcat V8, a chopped windshield, and Dodge Viper seats.

It’s pretty obvious which ones are the most exciting and which are the Fiat least exciting.

I wouldn’t hold your breathe waiting for these to come out in the near future. Jeep has yet to go into production with any concepts shown at these events. 

Boohoo. We want the Trailcat and Kaiser!

For each self-criticism, there were many criticisms. My mother’s two comrades insisted that she had behaved in a ‘bourgeois’ manner. They said she had not wanted to go to the country to help collect food; when she pointed out that she had gone, in line with the Party’s wishes, they retorted: “Ah, but you didn’t really want to go.” Then they accused her of having enjoyed privileged food cooked, moreover, by her mother at home and of succumbing to illness more than most pregnant women. Mrs. Mi also criticized her because her mother had made clothes for the baby.
“Who ever heard of a baby wearing new clothes?"she said.
"Such a bourgeois waste! Why can’t she just wrap the baby up in old clothes like everyone else?” The fact that my mother had shown her sadness that my grandmother had to leave was singled out as definitive proof that she 'put family first,“ a serious offense.

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang (张戎). Harper Collins. 1991.

Telling the story of three female generations in China through political history, Wild Swans contains the biographies of Jung Chang’s grandmother (Yu Fang) and mother (Bao Qin/De Hong) as well as Chang’s own autobiography. Wild Swans traces Yu Fang’s fearful experience as a young concubine of a high-ranking warlord, De Hong’s illnesses and miscarriages while undergoing grueling training for the Red Army, and Chang’s own time with the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. Chang describes the exponential growth of Mao Zedong’s zealous following and the torture and humiliation her parents suffered after being labeled “capitalist roaders” (走资派). 

Framing her matrilineal history in the rise of the CCP, Chang offers an open and unabashed criticism of hardline communist policies, illustrating the continuous atmosphere of fear and fast-paced change throughout all three generations, and delineates the physical and emotional consequences they held for her family. Wild Swans has been translated into thirty seven languages, and thirteen million copies have been sold worldwide, though the book is banned in the PRC. 

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Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet “The Ultimate Dinosaur”.
Definition of unique luxury.
The history of the G-Class is rich in superlatives and landmarks. With the new Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet, the off-road classic demonstrates that the definition of unique luxury can always be taken to a new level. Not only that: it is forever reinventing itself and providing yet more evidence of the potential that still resides in this classic all-terrain vehicle today, which has been in production since 1979.

Masterpiece of automotive engineering.
With its superlative V12 engine, portal axles, electric fabric top and exclusive equipment specification in the rear compartment, this very special all-terrain vehicle, which is limited to 99 units, meets the expectations of customers who demand the very highest standards of their vehicle. After the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class and the S650 Cabriolet, the open-top G-Class is the first off-roader from the Mercedes-Maybach sub-brand.
Ultimate in automotive power.
As is customary with the off-road icon, the “G” is forever breaking new ground: unlike previous Landaulets, which were based on prestigious saloons, the Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet also has what it takes to deliver an unforgettable off-road experience. Familiar from the G63 AMG6×6 and G500 4×4, the portal axles provide ample ground clearance of 450 millimetres, allowing the open-top all-terrain vehicle to overcome even extreme obstacles in a masterly fashion. High drive comfort comes courtesy of the most powerful available engine, the Mercedes-AMG V12 biturbo, which delivers a maximum output of 463kW (630hp) with a peak torque of 1000Nm.
Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet powered by the incredible Mercedes-AMG M279 V12 biturbo engine 6.0L 630HP and 1000Nm of Torque. Handcrafted by Michael Kübler @f1mike28 in Germany Affalterbach.
Driving Performance is our Passion! Mercedes-AMG the Performance and Sports Car Brand from Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes-AMG the Home of Driving Performance in Germany Affalterbach.
Mercedes-AMG Handcrafted by Racers.

Ice Cream Island
Tomoya Tomita
Ice Cream Island

The second to last stage in Kirby’s Epic Yarn is the only stage in the game to feature more than one transformation. It starts by giving Kirby his Off-Roader form, next the Fire Engine, then Dolphin, then Train, and lastly Spin Boarder.

The actual name of the stage is Meta Melon Isle, but the music is a remix of Ice Cream Island from Kirby’s Adventure.