Saturday, March 28, 2009

Beat me senseless

So, I'm in this class about the writers of the Beat Generation. Being in this class, hearing and reading their words have been an almost religious experience for me. I've been doing a lot of doodles in this class. Sorta like spontaneous prose but just sketches of sayings and thoughts that crop up. I have a longer, poetic piece that will eventually be put up here, but as for now, I have these. The first one is just Teddy as Abbie Hoffman. Chances are you know who Abbie Hoffman is if they name doesn't do anything. He had a huge white guy fro and wore an American flag shirt. The girl bear (who is named Luann, but I am the only one who knows that cause she hasn't appeared in any strips yet) is just a hippie flower girl. The second drawing is from a quote from William Burroughs. He was a Beat writer, whose works include "Junkie" (which he was) and "Naked Lunch". The quote in the corner is from a documentary called "The Source" about the Beats and hippies and it just struck me about how much truth there is in that. Drama works so well when you can either feel exactly what the writer is feeling or you can pull from your own life and make the reading that much more powerful.

"A bad experience for one person can be a good one for a writer."

And then this last one. This is my favorite picture because of how much is resonates with me. There is a stigma to being a person of impact. It is a two fold problem: 1. Your life has to be littered with emotional and physical problems and 2. You have to die young. The Beats just threw themselves into life. Whether this was an ideal life is up for debate, but they did not let up until it was done. Some were lost to drugs, some were just burned away by the lifestyles. A few got lucky and lived to a natural death, but most aren't lucky. But they live on and their message continues to inspire people. So what is the cost. Immortality in exchange for your short life? And that life is one of some sort of torment. At what temperature do we burn up? I get anxious about the thought of giving up my life for something like that. If I was Kerouac or Cassady, would I have lived with that same abandon or can I hope to in my own life? These guys viewed life in such a way that it gets me excited. Just seeing life as this truly beautiful thing and something that should be viewed as precious. Their words are the words of holy scripture and I become a born again with every reading. But then I worry about the fire and pull back my hand.

1 comment:

  1. There are ways to live life to its fullest without self destructing. It can be be done, and it can be hard, but you're smart. I think you can do it. The Beats were groundbreaking and in one sense typical. They just articulated their stance. Think about all the great, inspirational people throughout history. It seems that they all lived with total abandon. Laser-like focus on something. It can be done without an overdose, booze or suicide.