When I feel bad, I just turn to my friends the Beats and the hippie acidheads who followed them, and I feel less lonely. And usually less sad.
I love Kerouac and Burroughs and Thompson and Kesey but with all of them there exists some irreconcilable something (or somethings) that I latch onto and can say “aha, but at least I am not THIS” and feel better for having one mark in my favor in some category where one of my icons, my people, is lacking. Is that it? And that makes me feel like I could get somewhere someday too, I guess. That’s what it is. It’s not about having one up as much as it is about that one representing a reason to believe that I could have the same influence, same affluence perhaps, one day.
Maybe it’s not even that. Maybe it’s just the raw hope generated there. Some argue hope is like religion, just another opiate of the masses. But if the masses need sedation, I can think of few things so harmless as a little hope. Unjustifiably optimistic sometimes? Perhaps. I’m sure. But hardly a vice I consider dangerous.