Reading “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey as a Fresno City College sophomore in 1969, I wasn’t aware how close to the plot of the book my life would take. In retrospect, Kesey was informing us of illusions of truth and justice that shatter.
McMurphy, the institutional patient, was the rebel who led the proletariat revolution against Big Nurse’s group think, lock-step conformism that the 1960s generation would reject.
McMurphy led the mental patients in card games, smuggled booze and babes onto the ward and generally was a constant burr in Big Nurse’s saddle. Jack Nicholson, in the infancy of a remarkable career, was McMurphy in the film version of the book.
He captured the spirit of boldness that contrasted with the timid emasculation of his fellow misfits.
We are rats in a maze of craze one false step away from a lobotomy blaze is the message that re-informs me to this day. As my significant other says, “You keep ranting like that, there’s a shot of Thorazine in your future.”