Beats, Beatniks, Hippies, Yippies, and yup…yuppies. Maybe the yup, yes-sir mentality of conformity led to that name..
The Beat Generation rose up and questioned everything. They questioned the postwar consumerism of the 50’s and they opposed the conventional structures of a materialistic society. They brought the freshness of postmodern art to the masses and they pushed the limits of censorship. I admire the Beats for that, especially Kerouac. His love for nature and travel was spiritual and pure. His strange patriotism, his wish for recognition, his love for his mother, his awkwardness around women, his drunkenness, his sensitivity, his loneliness, his dedication, and his poetry…I can relate.
Some friends undoubtedly read On the Road, some didn’t. Some of the people that I consider to be the best of friends, have yet to read The Fox Trails –maybe never will and I understand. But who out there really understands Kerouac, or the Beats for that matter? The Beat Generation inspired the Hippie Movement of the 60’s and the wonderful leaps that we made in social equality and civil rights. Those who protested for peace and justice, they made it possible for people like me to wear long hair and speak freely like I do today. Yet even now, we still struggle with the same issues. We’re very separated, violent people ruthlessly competing, and I yearn for a compassionate community, conscious and intellectual. I feel so alone.
Not that you’re not. There is a wonderfully hip community of musicians in Minneapolis that I totally dig. I love them, and I will return one day. But I had to go moan for man. I had to go moan, go groan, go roll my bones, alone.
What Happened to Kerouac? The Beat Goes On, tells the story of Jack and the Beat Generation. In the deluxe edition, you’ll see a conference with the likes of Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Paul Krassner, and Abbie Hoffman. They debate the question: Was the Beat Generation a cultural movement of the social kind, or the political?
We live in amazing times. I was born in 1981, the year when MTV started broadcasting on television and IBM released the first personal computer. Technology really changed everything. It’s hard to separate the social and the political nowadays. I believe that race and sex will no longer divide the living, if I evolve my ego and see you all as family, plants and animals alike. I believe that competition and greed will no longer dominate the economy, if I slow my consumption and focus my consciousness on refining the worldview. Can you dig that? Will you do that with me? Can we do it together?
I gave away my possessions and a successful life in the city, to live the way I do.
I march to my own drum, and I bet you think I’m crazy.
Maybe I am, but the Beat goes on,,,