Thank you ever so much Tyler for this topic, because I am going into this with next to no knowledge about specifics of the Beat generation. You mentioned Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady, but truth by told, I’ve only heard of those names. I guess I’ll stick with my guns and just talk about what I do know about it, and that’s largely the cultural phenomena that occurred, not much more. So here I go, I am going to attempt to blog about the Beat generation.
Where do I start. Going off of subjects in order off of the Wikipedia page, the first thing I can address is the topic(s) of gender and sexuality, which is a big task on its own, and I may be treading on thin ice here. I’ll say here that all of my information, aside from my opinions, is coming from Wikipedia, so think what you will about that. It says of gender that Beat literature, particularly by men, was actually quite traditional in its portrayal of women, while the movement itself attempted to break tradition, which I find to be a little curious. I know in the 60s and 70s feminism, particularly second wave feminism, had a huge rise in popularity, and I imagine it partly stemmed from this. But the angle I’ll take to this topic of gender roles is one that you may expect from me, if you’ve read some of my other stuff. Personally, I don’t like established gender roles in most cases. I really believe that a man or a woman should be able to pursue any interest of theirs (within reason of what God says is right), be it that a woman wants to be into football and action movies and MMA or whatever it is. I think they should be able to assume positions of leadership where qualified, meaning that if they want to be CEO of a business, they should be able to. On the flip side, if they want to be a mother and not have a job, and be a “weak woman for perpetuating female stereotypes”, then by all means let them, though I would argue that being a stay at home mom is far from being weak. The 50s family setting is a great one, because everyone fills a role that they’re good at, but it can be taken a step further so that if a man wants to be the stay at home dad and a woman wants the job, if they both consent to that plan, I think that’s okay as well. The same is true of men. They should be able to do more “feminine” things if they so desire. That all being said, I do think that in the home, that men should be in charge. That isn’t to say women are beneath men. Marriage is an equal partnership, made to reflect Christ’s relationship with the church (Thanks Matt). Men don’t get to abuse the power, but women should respect the power. A marriage is a joint effort, and it takes both parties to make it succeed. The tricky part for a lot of people is the word “submission”. Submission doesn’t mean that you are weak and can’t operate on your own. It means that when push comes to shove, you let the husband have the shove. There is a joint servitude between the couple. To paint a better picture about submission, it really only means to respect the authority and to help the leader out. Think of it like Batman and Robin. Both of them are great on their own, but when working as a team, they are so much better. Robin respects Batman and gives Batman the final say, trusting in his final judgement, and then he follows through with Batman. Batman on the other hand doesn’t (or at least not usually) abuse his power over Robin. He needs Robin, and gives Robin a say and they work together to beat the Joker. One person has to take the power, and God calls the man to that. For people who think the woman should be able to do that, lets look at it this way. Who is the stronger person? The person who selfishly claims the power because someone else can’t reliably, or the person who knows the other person needs to take the power, and uses their power to elevate the other person into that role through support? It takes a heck of a lot more power to give power up than to take it. So back to the Beat movement, where this all ties in, I think that there is something good in the Beat movement about gender roles, but from my understanding, they can take it a bit too far as well.
Now the sexuality, which is a heated topic right now. I really don’t want to talk about it, because nobody ever does the subject justice, or rather they make it into a bigger deal than it needs to be. Homosexuality is a sin, because God didn’t make humans to operate that way. God also didn’t make humans to kill each other and steal and get drunk and all that stuff. Homosexuality is weighed the same on God’s scale as any other sin, but people fuss over it like its a huge deal. Physical attraction doesn’t constitute love, and it sure as heck doesn’t justify sleeping with them outside of marriage. That just brings up gay marriage, which is really bothersome to me, because marriage isn’t something that should be handled by the courts. I can name a bunch of different reasons why its a stupid fight, but I won’t. I’ve already said more than I want to say. If you really want to discuss with me about it, do it in person, but I won’t do it here.
Next on that list is drug use. I think this is rather self-explanatory, but aside from medical purposes, and even then they can be harmful in large doses, drugs are bad. Drugs of all kind. Marijuana, meth, alcohol, ecstasy, speed, heroin, tobacco, you name it. All of them are bad for different reasons. I know people say that pot isn’t bad for you, but here is what I think. I think pot is really expensive, really addictive, really foul smelling, and only gives you temporary shots of euphoria. Where is the joy in that? Why not go out into the world and help other people and be constructive and get joy from that? A permanent joy. I’m not a doctor, and I haven’t done my research on it, but my intuition says that burning a plant and inhaling the fumes isn’t good for you. My guess is that it’s like a cigarette and that it harms your mouth, throat, lungs, and teeth, probably among other things. I’m aware that pot may not be as bad as other drugs, but being the least bad doesn’t make it good as a result. The rest of them are pretty self explanatory, except for alcohol, which is tricky. Jesus did drink wine, and did consume alcohol. Alcohol itself isn’t a problem in small quantities. It’s danger lies in taking too much, which is different for everybody. The occasional drink isn’t going to hurt you most likely, but going to bars every night and getting hammered is dangerous. It can lead to drunk driving, leaving with someone dangerous, stumbling into the street, saying things you wish you hadn’t, alcohol poisoning, you name it. Just drink responsibly. That being said, about this Beat generation, I think they were hugely mistaken to believe that drugs were good for you, just because they make you feel good for a little bit. That isn’t healthy, and that is one of my main concerns about the Beat generation and Hippies and all of that.
Other things that are included on that list are romanticism, French surrealism, and modernism, but because I’m a little lazy and not wanting to look up what each of those means, I’m going to skip over those philosophies for the most part. I remembering liking romanticism, but that was like a year and a half ago. French surrealism sounds cool, but I have no idea, and I generally reject modernism. I like what modernism has to say, except for the part where it rejects God. The idea that science and God can’t work together baffles me, because God created science inherently by creating the world and giving humans the capacity to discover it. I like to look at this metaphor to convey the message between God and science. Picture two pitchers, one large one, and one medium one. The large one represents God and everything attributed to him, as the source of all Truth. Science and all of its “Truth” is the medium pitcher. For those who might argue that science should be the larger one, science can only prove what is true of this world, and God exceeds the limits of this world, whether one believes in Him or not. Thus, God has the bigger pitcher. Anyway, if you start with the big pitcher full, you can easily pour that water into the smaller pitcher and still have some left over. The opposite is not true. If you start with the small pitcher full, and pour it into the larger pitcher, then it won’t be filled. That is precisely why science cannot prove everything about God, any more than a baby can give birth to its own mother, but God can prove science. Everything God says can validate science, but not vice versa. Science POINTS to God! It ought to be used as a tool to marvel at what he has created and better understand what he’s given to us, but instead people try to say that science is all there has ever been, that there is no God. It baffles me. My rant is over. Excuse me. About those philosophies, I really don’t care to look at any philosophy to obey, other than the one that says God is King and her created the world in one way or another, and that we should all live according to Him. That’s wishful thinking perhaps, because man is naturally evil and aims to reject God, but anyway, that’s my two cents.
That’s all I have to say about the Beat generation. Overall they were pretty misdirected and some of the things I agree with, but mostly not. If I didn’t cover something you want to hear about, remember more the ideas rather than the specifics, because I really don’t know much about Jack Kerouac, then ask me on whatever social media this is on, in person, or right down below in the comments section. I hope you enjoyed!