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"What are we doing on this rainy field that tilts over in the earth?"
September 6, 2013 1:12 PM   Subscribe


 
I've never understood these kind of articles. It's like "when we can time travel back to 1930, lets bring a fibre glass football helmet for Jack and tell him to ditch the leather ones. Oh and BTW, watch out for the bar fights."
posted by Xurando at 2:10 PM on September 6, 2013


As Cantu says in the article, this seems possible, but can't be anything more than speculation without a tissue sample.

It made me think of Allen Ginsberg's 1964 photo of Kerouac, made the last time he visited him in New York, though. Kerouac was 42 when it was taken - his quick decline in the early 60s does seem like it had something more than alcoholism / drug abuse behind it.
posted by ryanshepard at 2:19 PM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's an interesting thought, but it's really only ever going to be that...just a thought. The man drank gallons of booze every week. Drinking on that level causes brain damage of its own, probably the equivalent of many, many hits to the head, so the whole discussion is purely academic.
posted by nevercalm at 2:54 PM on September 6, 2013


Yeah, I feel like the obvious and more likely response is buried in a parenthetical:

(Alcoholism, of course, can also impair the memory, and it’s impossible to determine how much of Kerouac’s memory loss was due to his drinking. “I don’t know how you’d accurately assess it,” Cantu said, “because the use of alcohol will obliterate those memories while he’s under the influence.”)
posted by xmutex at 2:56 PM on September 6, 2013


Kind of interesting but I agree with those who take this sort of historical medical diagnosis with a large grain of salt. Additionally, there is sort of a chicken and egg relationship between head injuries and alcohol use; he could very well have gotten some of his head injuries while drinking; a lot of people do.
posted by TedW at 3:17 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's a very interesting photograph, ryanshephard, with an equally interesting caption:
...He looked by then like his late father, red-faced, corpulent W. C. fields shuddering with mortal horror, grimacing on DMT I'd brought back from visiting Timothy Leary at Millbrook Psychedelic Community, Fall 1964. Allen Ginsberg
posted by jamjam at 4:50 PM on September 6, 2013


He was doomed either way. Maybe a few more years if it was one or the other alone but that's it.
posted by tommasz at 6:21 PM on September 6, 2013


CTE? Yeah, you know me.
posted by telstar at 9:15 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


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