Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance and library cards, to absinthe and good-hearted landlords, to music and warm bodies and contraceptives… and to the “good life”, whatever it is and wherever it happens to be.
Allen [Ginsberg] didn’t like the term beatnik… preferring instead “Beat Generation” if there had to be a name. But he did not object to being lumped together with Kerouac, Burroughs, Corso, and Ferlinghetti no matter what they were called. He understood the advantages of being part of a literary circle where each person supported and promoted the work of the others.
My stomach is tight and my mood is grim. I just finished watching Going Clear, an excellent documentary on the cult of Scientology.
I’m always deeply grateful when an ex-cult member shares their personal, painful, even shameful story. They do so at great personal risk, and to add insult to injury, many are swift to laugh at them. “Who are the dopes who buy into this stuff?” one Internet commentator wrote. After all, Scientology is a ridiculous story concocted in order to exploit people for money and sex. Satirists are quick to quip, “So it’s basically Christianity!”
It apparently comes as a surprise to a lot of people that you can be intelligent, educated, and in a cult. I personally think that every last one of us believes something false, but beyond that, there’s a good reason so many otherwise normal people sign up – and I think we’re going to see many more join cults in the next few decades.