Friday, July 30, 2004
Beats, hipsters, hippies ... it's really more a state of mind than any particular group of people or time and place but as I'm sitting here after my second mid-afternoon glass of Alice White Shiraz I 'm thinking it's something everyone should experience.
"... At seven-thirty my Zipper came in and was being made up by the switchmen and I hid in the weeds to catch it, hiding partly behind a telephone pole. It pulled out, surprisingly fast I thought, and with my heavy fifty-pound rucksack I ran out and trotted along till I saw an agreeable drawbar and took a hold of it and hauled on and climbed straight to the top of the box to have a good look at the whole train and see where my flatcar'd be. Holy smokes goddamn and all ye falling candles of heaven smash, but as the train picked up tremendous momentum and tore out of that yard I saw it was a bloody no-good eighteen-car sealed sonofabitch and at almost twenty miles an hour it was do or die, get off or hang on to my life at eighty miles per (impossible on a boxcar top) so I had to scramble down the rungs again but first I had to untangle my strap clip from where it had caught in the catwalk on top so by the time I was hanging from the lowest rung and ready to drop off we were going too fast now. Slinging the rucksack and holding it hard in one hand calmly and madly I stepped off hoping for the best and turned everything away and only staggered a few feet and I was safe on ground." [excerpt from Dharma Bums: Jack Kerouac]And what better way to meld with this counter culture mindness than to explore the life and writings of Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Henry Miller, Abbie Hoffman, Alan Watts and others ... or maybe some more Alice White would do it.