Beat Crazy

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Sometimes the mind holds strange dichotomies. Case in point: For the past couple of decades, I have been a serious devotee of the Beat generation, thrilling to every word inked by Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, et al… I also have a curious affection for the ridiculously stereotypical portrayals of “beatniks” on film and T.V., from slacksters like Maynard G. Krebs (Dobie Gillis) and Mike from The Fat Black Pussycat, to beboppin’ psychotic Walter Paisley in A Bucket Of Blood…all obviously springing from the fevered imaginations of squares who’ve never set foot in Greenwich Village. I mean, did any  real Beat  ever  wear a beret and sandals and play bongos? Here’s what the Beats really looked like:


burroughs

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Pretty square, huh? And beatniks are portrayed not as intellectuals, but addle-brained space cadets. Such flagrant misrepresentation could be grounds for a defamation suit…and yet, it’s funny as hell. So brew up a double espresso, dust off those bongos, “Swing with a gassy chick, turn on to 1,000 joys, turn your eyes inside and dig the vacuum…tomorrow is a draaaag…”

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2 comments

  1. dneitzke · August 6, 2013

    Surprised you didn’t make any mention of John Waters and his youthful obsession with the cartoon version of beatnik-ism (which shows up in the Ric Ocasek/Pia Zadora cameo scene in “Hairspray”)…

    • jayghastly · August 6, 2013

      Actually I was gonna post a pic of Ocasek putting his head through a painting if I could’ve found one…

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