After a long hard Saturday morning watching cartoons, I’ve often rewarded myself with an equally long nap, or a consecutive series of short ones. And after three-plus decades of research and training in this field, I‘ve at last honed the ritual in such a way as to replace the labor of cartoon watching with dream watching, allowing me to reward myself for being asleep by remaining asleep well into the afternoon. Daysleep has been especially rewarding recently for those of us who stayed up Friday night past Saturday’s dawn writing a Pledge of Allegiance story while listening to Steve Reich, Peter Case and Public Enemy at the same time (CD clock radio, five-disk changer and iTunes, respectively), watching a Richard Pryor movie followed by rare footage of the Minutemen performing ”This Ain‘t No Picnic“ outdoors in black and white, with young wartime pilot Ronald Reagan dive-bombing the band from on high.

As you might imagine, this burst of unfortunate creativity — an unpublishably ham-fisted soapbox opera about the similarities between religion and marketing — was fueled by a succession of Peet’s French Roast double-espresso concoctions — tempered with soy jizz, nutmeg and sugar — pumped through my genuine Speed-o-matic™ high-pressure semiprofessional liquid-stimulant device and into my high-pressure semiprofessional heart.

Then came the crash, then came the ring. Anyone with the audacity to call me at 3 p.m. on a Saturday — prime time for Reaganesque telemarketing attacks — deserves the machine.

”. . . at the tone. Thanks.“

(>tone(Familiar grumbly baritone:) ”I pledge allegiance to the dollar of the United States of Christianica. And to the fascist republic for which it stands, one nation, under opium, with libertine justice for a handful of extremely rich white guys. Amen.“

(>click1657), first governor of the Plymouth Colony. A true patriot, Brad summarizes his recovery from Seventh-day Adventist indoctrinations thusly: ”The Resurrection has all the credibility of an Elvis-sighting.“

We spent a minute or two discussing Minority Report (bad ending) and the Bible (ditto), and then 10 minutes or so analyzing the new television commercials for the United States — footage of schoolchildren rebelliously pledging their asecular allegiances to brightly colored textile products manufactured almost exclusively in China and Korea, by shouting ”UNDER GOD!!“ for the international news cameras, to protest the 9th Circuit‘s recent decision. Then Brad and I — friends for 22 years — got sick of each other and hung up.

But Brad’s line ”under opium“ — an apparent reference to Marx‘s ”religion is the opiate of the masses“ — remained behind, reminding me of what it was I’d been doing last night in between the Reich, the Case, the Enemy, the Pryor, D. Boon and D. Gipper and D. strong-ass coffee: To avoid writing about ”under God“ and the new federal subsidies for religious indoctrination, I‘d become mesmerized by the design on a can of Amp™ Energy Drink (from the makers of Mountain Dew™) and begun a book-length thesis on the marketing of corporate soft drinks in public elementary schools, the rise of the Starbucks Nation, and how high-energy drinks are the missing link between the twain.

And as I studied the pseudo-organic silver Bezier blob that formed, vaguely, the letter A, I saw, beneath it, the considerably less blobby uppercase letters A, M and P stretched out to form eyes around a nose, and a caricature of a familiar face began to emerge . . .

I reasoned that it was only a matter of time before respectable speed dealers (Coke, Pepsi) purchased the necessary rights from the estate of Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac to digitize Jack Kerouac’s face and voice into a virtual spokesperson for their stimulants.

”Hiya folks and kids! Kids and folks, where Dostoyevsky on a Siberian train ride might‘ve said ’folks moreover kids!‘ Uncle Jack here in the mauve twilight of synaptic glee! You know, kids, when I . . .“

Who better than Virtual Kerouac to help kids through that awkward transition from the soft stuff — the carbonated caffeinated sugar machine-fed between classes — to the Peet’s French Roast at 4 a.m.? And only Virtual Kerouac has the experience and reputation to explain to our kids why the legal speed is legal and the illegal speed isn‘t, and, hence, why illegal things that make them feel just like legal things make them feel are bad, while legal things that make them feel the same as illegal things make them feel are good. Only Virtual Kerouac can properly teach our young ones the digestional skills they need to survive (however briefly) as adults; to instill in them America’s necessity to overdrive the central nervous systems of its workers so Kenneth Lay can bareback us to the bank and shoot his martini-ridden load all over our pensions; to introduce the young America to the real America, where a path of slim-can energy drinks leads from chasing candy bars with Mountain Dew to chasing vitamins and steroids with espresso.

”You know, kids, when I need to stay up for three weeks straight drinking and masturbating, smoking grass and gobbling bennies while typing 125,000 words nonstop on a 119-foot roll of onionskin, I sometimes need a lift! That‘s when I go straight for the Amp™ Energy Drink! Only Amp contains the MDX5™ your body needs — taurine, ginseng, B vitamins, guarana and maltodextrin — in a great-tasting, heavily caffeinated citrus fusion! Sure, there’s plenty of other energy beverages sold in penis-size aluminum cylinders! But only Amp™ Energy Drink, from your friends at Mountain Dew™, gives me the stamina I need to meet my deadline! Try Amp™ Energy Drink — for that On the Road Feeling™!“


Danish Pathway to the Beat Generation


Drug War Clock


Caffeine Overdose at Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia


LA Weekly