Wednesday, September 17, 2014

America the Great?...

To what is owed to the vast lands of red, white and blue? Is conformity consensual? Do the angsts of societal pressures eventuate in uniformity? Decamp from under the restraint of America while her head is turned. Break free of injustice. 

The Beat Generation “advocated personal release, purification, and illumination through the heightened sensory awareness that might be induced by drugs, jazz, sex, or the disciplines of Zen Buddhism”( The beatniks, as they were referred, offered a differing view from that of conservative America. “America” by Allen Ginsberg catechized the straight-laced beliefs of the “average” American. Deference to conformity was commonplace behind the regimented white picket fences lining the barren streets of homogeneity. In advancing toward the fallacy of the American Ideal, Ginsberg affirms “you should have seen me reading Marx. My psychoanalyst thinks I’m perfectly right”(Ginsberg2972). Not only does Ginsberg critic the illusive lifestyle of fellow neighbors and friends, but that of his own life. There are times in which he, too, succumbs to the paradox of normality. Societal expectations allude to the conventionality of the American People. Were the lands of freedom not once a melting pot? A messy concoction of eccentricity coming aboard overcrowded boats from daunting lands. To differentiate from normality is the first step to freedom. 

In conclusion “America is this correct? I’d better get right down to the job. It’s true I don’t want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts factories, I’m nearsighted and psychopathic anyway. America I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel”(Ginsberg2974). To be heard, the voices of the dreamers, the thinkers, the quite screaming inside for justice, must rise above the static of the so called congruity streaming through the broadcasts of the nightly news. Fight the oppressors with individualistic thought. 

Is there a sense of “normality” in today’s society? Does the Beat Generation appear to be permeating into issues of the present day? 

"In this modern jazz, they heard something rebel and nameless that spoke for them, and their lives knew a gospel for the first time. It was more than a music; it became an attitude toward life, a way of walking, a language and a costume; and these introverted kids... now felt somewhere at last."  ~John Clellon Holmes


  1. To answer you question, I think there is a normality in today's world, but it is evolving everyday. The normality today is not the normality 20, 30, 50 years ago. I think it is evolving because there is also a Beat presence helping to evolve America.

  2. Well said! I completely agree. I feel there is a great deal of relevance with the percolation of expression through hallucinogens and physical and emotion freedoms in our era. We live in a world of exploration. Liberality is becoming far more prevalent in our society. With the prevalence of psychedelic reconnaissance amongst the youth of today, many aspire to liberate themselves from the physical constraints of the human body. Spirituality and the spiritual being hold a vast significance in the minds of adolescents. We are the generation of truth seekers; justice; ratification. Look at the evolutions St. Louis, alone, is making to conform to the new way of thought. A once traditional antique district of Cherokee Street is becoming the center for visual arts and metaphysical exploration.We are the new Beatnik Generation.

  3. I feel like the beat generation left a lot of influence on the more angsty and liberal influences of whatever "modern" youth has been since. I feel like the separation from tradition was a huge step leading up to the punk movement, and even now we have the more "hipster" thing going on that feels kind of like an extension of that (although a lot closer to the beat movement than the more aggressive punks)