Saturday, August 02, 2008

Prime explanation of why Abbie Hoffman sucks

Given in relation to the Beat generation in Ed Sanders' book "Tales of Beatnik Glory". Hoffman has to have been the best self promoter who wrote the worst books, near contentless, which is a very bad crime. Read "Do it!" by Jerry Rubin if you want a better perspective on the same territory, or Ringelevio by Emmet Grogan. Anyways. Here's the excerpt:

" The symposium [Death of the Beat Generation-J.M.] was sponsored by Foment magazine [Dissent Magazine-J.M.], which for thirty-seven years had lead all periodicals in its promotion of excellent literature and liberal, almost demi-socialist thought. Foment was so nearly radical, in fact, that the CIA-Literary-Complex passed it by in offers of grants and crypto-stipends. There was one period of years after the war during which few would have cared to enter the Café Figaro without the latest Foment tucked 'neath the axillae of their jackets, protruding enough for the cover to gain cognizance.
It was impossible for pulse-grabbers at the throat of culture to deny the beats. The information in the minds of the editorial board of Foment magazine, however, was bedded in the enormous spew of mass attention paid to Howl and to On the Road and to the congeries of poets who had converged in the mid-'50s in San Francisco. The living thrill of it, the spirit of it, the birth and sweaty foment of it, had escaped the ken of the Fomenters. And there was a real hesitance--one might even call it embarrassment--even among the genuinely sympathetic--to bestow garlands of respect upon a coteries of "neo-Buddhist roamers who suffer visions." Beatificism therefore was criticized with a sort of golden worldliness and quote-clogged mockery--but a wary mockery with plenty of exit signs, for a critic would want neither to appear a square, nor would want to be adjudged in later history to have been a sea-tide of whale dooky, as were the brusque critics of Keats."

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