I just watched a documentary about being a Mod and various other British Youth cults.
As much as I like some of the art and people that come from these subcultures, I personally could never sign myself up and be a member.
It all just seemed so limited, shoehorning yourself into a way of life. In a way its not a universe away from joining the army – men often need that feeling of being in a gang, a movement and creating some sense of purpose.. Which is usually fake , once you get out a pen ,paper and ontological microscope to study it .
All, that said , it became clear to me the other day , that if pressed I would have to admit the philosophy , look , feel and art of the Beat movement was something I related to hugely, as a teen. In fact I only let go of its hand about 12 years ago – I’m aware to be “hip” you have to pretend you are above the Beats and see through them, you have to say you much prefer the French Left Bank writers and that, frankly, you think On The Road is childish boys games. Such is life.
I guess, “Beat” is something you is or isn’t there isn’t much you can do about it. Bit like being homosexual in a way.
To be “Beat”, isn’t about going on a gap year before going on to Uni or touring Europe or America when you are in your teens/early 20s (as romantic as that is) and then living in London or NY city for the rest of your days…..A provincialist with a city a view form your kitchen window.
Nope, to be “Beat” is to be a full time adventurer (the art is a byproduct of that) ..Movement is premaritally forward and there isn’t anything you can do about it.