Friday, November 02, 2007

Of Krassner,Kerouac,and Leary as Pranksters?

Paul Krassner
(April 9, 1932) was the founder, editor and a frequent contributor to the freethought magazine The Realist, first published in 1958. With the radical humor of his publication shattering taboos and breaking barriers, Krassner became a key figure in the counterculture of the 1960s.
Paul Krassner is indeed a writer/activist. Jack Kerouac never got on the bus, but one of his inspirations Neal Cassaday a.k.a. Dean Moriarity in On the Road, was one of the original core member/prankster for sure. The famous bus trip took place in 1964, (I was all of 10 and had not the slightest clue this was going on in my hometown) with New York Worlds Fair was the original destination so Kesey had a few years on the Beatles. Kesey's second novel Sometimes a Great Notion demanded his presence in New York, so Kesey bought a 1939 International Harvester school bus that he and the Merry Pranksters painted in day-glo colors, and outfitted it for a cross-country trip. With Neal Cassady at the wheel, they left La Honda in June 1964 and began their now legendary journey across the country, smoking marijuana, and dropping acid along the way. The top of the bus was made into a musical stage and when it detoured through some cities, the Pranksters blasted a combination of crude homemade music and running commentary to all the astonished onlookers. They arrived in New York in July after an arduous journey, whereupon Neal Cassady introduced them to Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. Ginsberg embraced the new legends immediately and arranged for them to drive to Millbrook to meet the other psychedelic pioneer, Timothy Leary. Jack Kerouac was not impressed and had little to say to either Kesey or the Merry Pranksters. Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert were not pranksters and Millbrook was a another astral plane ( or airliner ) all together albeit definitely pioneers treading different pathways on the same trail.
I think we need to look beyond and into the humor...psychedelics have been fun much more than religious in my experiences and I like that aspect the most.

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