The only people for me are the mad ones:
by Paul Thorsteinson (PT55)
“The only people for me are the mad ones.” -Jack Kerouac
Maybe a play off of Alice’s conversation with the Cheshire Cat, “We’re all mad here…” Jack Kerouac is one of my favorite authors ever. He’s awesome. He wasn’t just a good writer he lived his writing.
Throughout the last century there has been pockets of cool people that find each other and move the world forward. In the 1920’s the Lost Generation was comprised of Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and other amazing artists. Together they changed the world.
In the 1950’s, the Beats would have their own artistic reckoning w/ Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Neal Cassady. Jack was the central figure of what would be termed the Beat Generation. His most iconic book was called On The Road. While there were modifications to the story and all his friends names were changed, On The Road was considered a true story about his real life stealing cars, hopping trains and getting loaded w/ his friends.
Jack lived as a free spirit. And he did it during a time when most of the society was very much repressed (30’s and 40’s) He found meaning in the moment and the adventure of real life. That life was standards and terms he set for himself.
By the 1960’s much of his and his friend’s ideologies would permeate a new generation of hippies, writers, and musicians. Eventually culminating by the greatest music festival ever, Woodstock in 1969.
It’s rumored that Jack Kerouac wrote On The Road while he was gak’ed out on Benny’s and Red’s. He was so high, he just taped the papers together end end and typed non-stop with his Stenson typewriter.That’s the myth though, it’s officially unconfirmed =)
What is confirmed is that it’s the unconventional that serve as the golden thread throughout life. That the mad are the most interesting and fantastic people. While incredibly rare, they make the world run. The world is not generously sprinkled with mad people though. No they are a rare breed, but to me they are indispensable. Because the only people for me are the mad ones.