SAN FRANCISCO.What ever happened to the Beat Generation? The question wouldn’t mean much in Detroit or Salt Lake City, perhaps, but here it brings back a lot of memories. As recently as 1960, San Francisco was the capital of the Beat Generation, and the corner of Grant and Columbus in the section known as North Beach was the crossroads of the “beat” world.It was a good time to be in San Francisco. Anybody with half a talent could wander around North Beach and pass himself off as a “comer” in the new era. I know, because I was doing it, and so was a fellow we’ll have to call Willard, the hulking, bearded son of a New Jersey minister. It was a time for breaking loose from the old codes, for digging new sounds and new ideas, and for doing everything possible to unnerve the Establishment.Since then, things have died down. The “beatnik” is no longer a social lion in San Francisco, but a social leper; as a matter of fact, it looked for a while as if they had all left. But the city was recently startled by a “rent strike” in North Beach and as it turned out, lo and behold, the strikers were “beatniks.” The local papers, which once played Beat Generation stories as if the foundations of The System were crumbling before their very eyes, seized on the rent strike with strange affection — like a man encountering an old friend who owes him money, but whom he is glad to see anyway.
By Steve Turtell
presented by George Krevsky Gallery
Klaus Maeck’s documentary features Burroughs in conversation, discussing such topics as his beliefs on language as a weapon, his theory of the world, the function of dreams, travel in time and space, etc. The film also includes footage from some of his public readings, film appearances, and shots of his paintings
Some of the highlights include hearing Burroughs read his advice to young people as well as his revised Ten Commandments, including Thou shalt not blow pot-smoke into the face of my pet and Thou shalt not be such a shit, you don’t know you are one
You can watch it HERE
In case you have not seen it already. It’s wonderful.
Ever wonder where “hip” and “cat” may have come from? Here you go.
I read this on Slate today:
All my adult life, I’ve been served well by avoiding two categories of readers: people who like Jack Kerouac and people who think Humbert Humbert is the hero of Lolita. …
On the Road is babbling nonsense that mainly appeals to men under the illusion that it’s somehow daring to be disdainful of women… The female characters in On the Road are two-dimensional stereotypes… Kerouac-haters are correct in thinking he can’t handle characterization… Luckily for the rest of us, there are plenty of men we can admire for their disregard for women’s lives if we wish, and there’s no reason to slog through Kerouac’s prose to get the cheap thrill of vicarious misogyny.
As a female running a blog titled Fuck Yeah Beatniks, this, needless to say, threw me off a little.
I won’t deny that the female characters in many Beat works are unfortunately simplistic, but is this due to sexism, the times, or the fact that the Beat writers’ focus was simply not on women?
What do you guys think?