Thursday, August 16, 2007

Jack's Good Consumers

"Leonard Bast" at The List of Betterment looks askance at Jack Kerouac. I agree with this just about completely:
Essentially, all (On the Road) seems to do is substitute one myth of American freedom for another. Just as punk quickly ceased to be about self-expression and became a Johnny Rotten dressing-up contest, so all the newly groovy hipsters easily ignored the alienation, the restlessness and the dissatisfaction in this book and bought themselves Levis and espresso machines anyway, and became the beat generation i.e. a new generation of good consumers, ready to take over from their frustratingly thrifty parents, who had had to combat a real economic depression and a real war, rather than choose to impose those conditions on themselves for 'kicks'.
That's sharp enough for me to almost forgive the fact that Leonard doesn't like the Hold Steady.


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