The Beats, like their successors in the Sixties, have often been described as ‘idealists’. But fantasies of total gratification are not the product of idealism. They arise from a narcissism that, finding the world unequal to its desires, retreats into a realm of heedless self-absorption. Modesty, convention, and self-restraint then appear as the enemies rather than as the allies of humanity. In this sense, the Beat generation marks a step away from civilization.

Although aesthetically nugatory, “Beat Culture and the New America” was an exhibition of considerable significance — but not in quite the way that Lisa Phillips, its curator, intended, Casting a retrospective glance at the sordid world of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Lawrence, Ferlinghetti, and other Beat icons, the exhibition unwittingly furnished a kind of pathologist’s report on one of the most toxic cultural movements in American history.

There is no honour in exploiting people and there is also no honour in exploiting animals! Using people or using animals for our own interests is nothing but an arrogant immorality!

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