The Beat Generation: Changes in Attitude
Movie: High School Confidential - Beatnik Poem Recital
The venues of famous Beats in different states and historical facts concerning the beat generation.
Beat Generation Documentary
The Beats: Beatniks
When the beat generation cropped up things were more stable and standardized in America. There was a certain stability that is now lost. The beats were the first generation to feel stifled by the American scene of father goes to work and mother stays home and raises the children, cooks meals, and so forth. The hippies were a further reflection of this attitude and of the whole experimental generation concept.
Looking back and having grown up during the fifties and sixties and seeing how our culture has been degraded in many respects, I wonder if a little stifling is always a bad thing. Many people didn't consider this lifestyle as stifling. Of course, there were many other teenagers and young adults in the fifties that never played a part in the beat generation.
During the era of the beats TV was still mostly in black and white. By 1951 the America public had bought 10.5 million black and white televisions and there were few color movies. There weren't any sub-woofers, but stereo had moved from low-fidelity to hi-fidelity. This all occurred on the tails of the Second World War (1939-1945). There was a definite gap in thinking between the generation that served in that war and the beats.
As far as the women working at home, many of them had just finished a stint during the war as basically Rosie the Riveter doing many of the jobs that had to be filled by women because so many men had gone to war. When the men came back and filled these job slots again the women mostly went back home. Some were glad and some weren't.
The beat generation had a different attitude about World War II and materialism. They began this anti-establishment thinking and the hippies actually went further with the concept and drew more young people into the lifestyle than did the beats. It was also a literary movement and that was the main vehicle for spreading the philosophy of the beats. In 1948, Jack Kerouac coined the phrase "the beat generation." He made a comparison from his social circle of writers, poets, and artists in New York to the groups of young people that met in the city that were the first anti-establishment convocation. He called these young people the beat generation.
Do I think that the beats changed attitudes by themselves? No. They influenced some young people, and hippies were an outcrop from the beatniks. But when we try new ideas, many times the bad comes with the good.
- Hip, Hep, Jazz, Beatniks, Hippies
Hep, hip, hippy's origins as words are explained. Plus, poetry and music's affair is touched on including jazz poetry and the Beat Poets.