COLUMN SIXTY-NINE, MARCH 1, 2002
(Copyright © 2002 Al Aronowitz)
LETTER FROM A 15-YEAR-OLD
[This letter from Marissa Polnerow should be read by all the geniuses who edit America's books and magazines---editors characterized to me by Jack Kerouac as "for the most part deaf, dumb. blind, ignorant and arrogant"---editors who have refused to publish my material since 1972, forcing me to found THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST as a way of presenting my writings to the reading public. My chronicles of what I call the most self-destructive binge of creativity in cultural history offer an intimate account of the most cherished icons to have ennobled that time. Those geniuses who edit America's books and magazines refuse to recognize that for as long as people continue to read Kerouac and Ginsberg and for as long as people continue to listen to Dylan and the Beatles, youngsters like Marissa Polnerow will continue to read what I've written.]
Dear Mr. Aronowitz,
Wow. There is merely one
word that can describe your life as a journalist, and that's it! "Wow!" I
recently picked u Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited? and fell in
love---it's my second Dylan album of three; he's my favorite musician ever
to walk the face of the earth. I must have been looking for a little Bob Dylan
info on the Internet when I came across your article about him meeting the
wonderful Beatles (ya know, your friend threw up on Paul's floor?). I was
immediately captivated with your articles.
I looked through that
list on your "Blacklisted Journalist? website and immediately dropped my
jaw. Jack Kerouac! Neal Cassady! Ginsberg! My beatific heroes!
But please don't get me
wrong. I admire talent, not fame! And you? You've got so much talent?
You've worked your way up that merciless journalistic ladder and now are one
of the best journalists in the greatest era ever to ply by us humans so
far---the "60s! And most journalists don't even have the ability and
strength to climb that first step.
Let me say a little about
myself before I continue. I'm Marissa Polnerow, a 15-year-old Lenape High
School junior, living in a desolate town about two-hours from your current
location. Writing is my passion. Kerouac's words made me realize I want to use
my piece of mind to change this world. My horizon has fully expanded on this
account. If I could meet one once-living individual on earth, Neal Cassady would
be it. Tell me, what was it like? I've followed his path through all the
literature out there, does it sum up? These two and Bob Dylan are the epitome if
all things good and evil in my idealistic imagination. This guy named Al
Aronowitz inspired me to be a journalist. Do you know of him? He's the best
journalist ever to live on the earth. He's documented a time I'll probably
never experience, when the world was turned inside-out. Yes, that him? Al
Ya wanna know why I feel
that way? Because not only did you document, you changed. You! Majorly,
MAJORLY altered the world as it is. I'm sure you've heard it a million
times. But let me tell you, it's more than that. And if I could be half the
journalist you are, my life would be complete
What can you tell me
about the career? The people? The
news? Is journalism like it was then? Which part of the career do you long for?
Thank you. I owe you my dreams.
Marissa Polnerow ##
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