Wild Young Minds: Beatdom

Sunday, January 12, 2014


As I was enjoying the extra time I have this month, I was searching the internet for some nice blogs or magazines to write for. If you have any suggestion, please let me know! Preferably something cultural, can be a bit alternative, as you’ll understand when you know me, but anything interesting will do fine. Anyway, I came across this amazing site/magazine/community called ‘Beatdom’. Since I’ve first read Jack Kerouac’s novel ‘On the Road’, I’ve been interested into anything dealing with the Beatniks. From Allen Ginsberg’s poetry to William S. Burroughs’ odd writings and everything in between and further away.

To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, the Beat Generation existed around the fifties and sixties. It was partly because of the Beatniks that the later countercultures, among which the hippies, formed itself. Yet the Beatniks were originally not that political at all. I love the term ‘bohemian hedonists’ to describe them. The Beatniks were all about living on the edge: experimenting with drugs, sex and art though always maintaining some sort of depth in their ideas of living. Most of them were extremely interested in Eastern religion (Buddhism, becoming ‘zen’, etc.) and they rejected materialism. 
 It might be interesting to know that the Beatniks were the actual hipsters. Though, and I must state this explicitly, our contemporary hipsters were nothing like the Beatniks. I hate the term anyway; it’s lost its meaning quite some time ago. The actual hipsters really didn’t conform themselves, and though the hipsters of today might say they rebel against the mainstream, what they do is far from that. The hipsters have become mainstream the minute after they started to rebel, since they wear the same clothes, listen to the same music and visit the same places. Well, that’s a different – and very interesting – topic, but for now let’s stay focused and stick to the Beatniks.
"But yet, but yet, woe, woe unto those who think that the Beat Generation means crime, delinquency, immorality, amorality ... woe unto those who attack it on the grounds that they simply don’t understand history and the yearning of human souls ... woe in fact unto those who make evil movies about the Beat Generation where innocent housewives are raped by beatniks! ... woe unto those who spit on the Beat Generation, the wind’ll blow it back.", is what Kerouac said about his generation. You might grasp a bit of the meaning this way. The group met in New York and soon moved to San Francisco, where the days of the Beatniks had their peak. The Beat movement mostly had to do with literature and poetry, which was often created whilst being on the road, as Kerouac so perfectly described in his work. Yet, many other scenes are inspired by the Beatniks as well, for instance music: Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin have used the beat lifestyle in their works a lot.
I can guarantee to write a lot more about this fabulous movement in the future, but for now I want to refer to this amazing site I spotted, called Beatdom. It is way too professional to write for; but as inspiration it’s very useful. The magazines all deal with a specific theme, for instance drugs, religion, nature, crime and drinking. I wish I had all the time in the world to read every single magazine, though if that had been the case; I would’ve finished reading all the beat books first. Still working on that, just finished ‘The Dharma Bums’ and I can really recommend this one, if you’re interested in anything dealing with Buddhism and hedonism (as regards the last one, we should all be interested in this, it’s just a matter of enjoying life!) Anyway, check this site out, it’s tremendous and try to be a little bit more beat yourselves. A wise advice for a Sunday night, if you ask me. 


  1. Zelf schrijf ik voor Volgens mij zoeken ze nog schrijvers, dus je zou even op de website moeten kijken. Succes!

    1. Thanks, ik heb net een mailtje gestuurd! Hopelijk wordt het iets :) Waar schrijf jij over?

  2. Ah leuk! Reizen en culinair, maar ik ben ook nog maar net begonnen hoor! Veel plezier in Marrakesh trouwens :)