Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by high school . . ."

Eighty-two years ago today was born the Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg, author of Howl. This was the poem Daria attempted to read aloud at the Better Days Retirement Home, with miserable results. If you want to hear Allen Ginsberg himself read part of Howl, click here. Quite interesting (but possibly NSFW). I was born the year he wrote it.

It's interesting that Daria chose to read this work, as it was once declared obscene and contains homosexual references and profanity. She obviously felt she should read something with redeeming literary value, and she picked a work that was iconoclastic and revolutionary for its time, but she had no clue that the material was inappropriate in the extreme for her audience. Just like Daria to do that. Not a real "people person."

I'm behind on doing stuff again, but hope to catch up later. Wish me luck.

4 comments:

the bug guy said...

"geenration"?

You must be tired if I'm the one that caught that. :)

Anonymous said...

No, no, no! High school does not destroy minds! High school exists to prepare students for productive lives in a modern society, and to do that.... Oh. Sorry. Never mind...

The Angst Guy said...

You must be tired if I'm the one that caught that.

Do what? I don't see anything wrong.

Scissors MacGillicutty said...

As far as I'm concerned, it's one of the most interesting things she does in the series.

"The Old and the Beautiful" first aired 3 March 1999. "Howl" was published in 1956. Assuming that the events of that episode take place around the same time in the Dariaverse, and that the residents of the Better Days Home are aged from 70 to 90, we're talking about a group of people who were between 30 and 50 when the poem first appeared, some of whom have been aware of it when it appeared, and perhaps even identified as beatniks themselves them. Maybe Daria should have realized that Mrs. Patterson might not be one of that group when she said that "My favorite birthday cards are the ones with poems in them" when asked if she liked poetry, but consider this: Daria has made it through all of parts I and II of Howl and it, and is less than six (long) lines from the end of the poem when Mrs. Patterson gets the nurse. Moreover, the complete line she's reading is "I'm with you in Rockland where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul is innocent and immortal it should never die ungodly in an armed madhouse"

"The soul is innocent and immortal it should never die ungodly in an armed madhouse" Maybe Mrs. Patterson knew the poem, sat through the drugs and the sex, but the "armed madhouse" bit hit a little close to home?