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Social and Political Movements: Anti-Materialism

By Karina, Michaela, Michael, and Jason

Michaela Brown

on 25 March 2012

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Transcript of Social and Political Movements: Anti-Materialism

through the years anti-materialism transcendentalism the lost generation the beat movement counter-culture early nineteenth century ralph waldo emerson
[he started it] basic history & ideals departed from orthodox Calvinism- importance of striving and escape depravity
Unitarian- Jesus is human
society is deficient- Emerson: “mass of bugs or spawn” and slavedrivers of themselves
against Indian relocation
against Fugitive Slave Act
refuse to pay poll tax- Thoreau arrested, “I cannot for an instant recognize that political organization as my government which is the slave's government also” Those things which now most engage the attention of men, as politics and the daily routine, are, it is true, vital functions of human society, but should be unconsciously performed, like the corresponding functions of the physical body. They are infrahuman, a kind of vegetation. I sometimes awake to a half-consciousness of them going on about me, as a man may become conscious of some of the processes of digestion in a morbid state, and so have the dyspepsia, as it is called. It is as if a thinker submitted himself to be rasped by the great gizzard of creation. Politics is, as it were, the gizzard of society, full of grit and gravel, and the two political parties are its two opposite halves- sometimes split into quarters, it may be, which grind on each other. Not only individuals, but states, have thus a confirmed dyspepsia, which expresses itself, you can imagine by what sort of eloquence. Thus our life is not altogether a forgetting, but also, alas! to a great extent, a remembering, of that which we should never have been conscious of, certainly not in our waking hours. Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our had dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? I do not make an exorbitant demand, surely. -thoreau’s life without principle- anti-transcendentalist
humans are bitter, evil, and sinful
examples: Melville & Hawthorne the nineteen-twenties the nineteen-fifties the nineteen-sixties f. scott fitzgerald
[author of the great gatsby] jack kerouac
[beat novelist] basic history & ideals
notable figures: Fitzgerald, Hemingway
sense of moral loss, aimlessness after World War I- physically and/or mentally wounded
The Great Gatsby - loneliness by all characters
inherited values no longer relevant
Harding “Return to normalcy”- hopelessly “materialistic and emotionally barren”
rebellion against widely held social, sexual and aesthetic norms
many moved to Europe, especially Paris
focus on realism or symbolism instead of romanticism
John Steinbeck, E E Cummings, John Dos Passos
Playwrights: Eugene Oneill, Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman), William Inge, Tennessee Williams
Poetry: T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Edna St. Vincent Millay hemingway
[known for his simple and clear prose]
“Romero never made any contortions, always it was straight and pure and natural in line. The others twisted themselves like corkscrews, their elbows raised, and leaned against the flanks of the bull after his horns had passed, to give a faked look of danger. Afterward, all that was faked turned bad and gave an unpleasant feeling. Romero’s bull-fighting gave real emotion, because he kept the absolute purity of line in his movements and always quietly and calmly let the horns pass him close each time. He did not have to emphasize their closeness.” The Sun Also Rises p.125 -understanding the beat movement-
1950s, focused in San Francisco (CA), Venice West (LA) and Greenwich Village (NYC)
“liberate poetry from academic precosiosity and bring it ‘back to the streets'"
Most prominent: John Clellon Holmes (novelist), Jack Kerouac(novelist)
Two distinct time periods: Gregory Stephenson: the “underground” (44-56) and the public (56-62)
Rebels to what was considered the norm against militarism, materialism
Spontaneity - arose from nuclear threat, rebellion against censorship, more stifling environment
turn from industrialism, rejected mainstream American values in favor of an approach more akin to Thoreau’s philosophy
obscenity, drugs and homosexuality common topics
writing could be about anything
William Burroughs: Naked Lunch (his defining work)
many of them took drugs, especially Ginsberg
stream-of-consciousness writing “the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”
― Jack Kerouac, "On the Road" Jack Kerouac Allen Ginsberg William Burroughs jimi hendrix
[counter-culture musician] -the influencers of counter-culture-
Jefferson Airplane- started by folk musicians in mid-1960s; music reflected the issues of the era - crime, cultural shifts, etc.
Counter-Culture: The Doors, Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane
Led to Jefferson Starship
The Doors- Jim Morrison, leader of The Doors and an influential member of the psychedelic rock movement; Rock band that was a combination of classical music and blues, very much like jazz; Name came from Huxley’s “The Doors of Perception”
Hendrix-Founded by Jimi Hendrix, fused blues, soul, rock, jazz; Changed the way the electric guitar is used Cover of "Electric Ladyland" album by Jimi Hendrix Works Cited
The Lost Generation:
The Beat Movement:
take a look... through the eras... and movements... that broke the status quo... challenged it... and elevated humanity's understanding... of what's important... what music, art, and culture are... and what it means to be human. so come explore the artists... writers and poets... and the movers & shakers... of anti-materialism movements througout the years. find connections... experience the culture (or lack thereof)... and enjoy.
/michaela, karina, michael, & jason/ -more on counter-culture-
Moved from folk to rock music
Chronicler and figurehead of anti-establishment and the counter-culture movement for the young
Incorporated political, social, philosophical, and literary influence into his lyrics
Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin’” became the anthem of civil rights and anti-war movements
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
First Meeting in 1960 on the campus of Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Its political manifesto, known as the Port Huron Statement was adopted at the first convention in 1962
Forefront of racial justice, antipoverty, and antiwar compaigns
Peaceful civil rights demonstrations turned into violent urban riots
Spawned an underground terrorist group called the Weathermen
Free Speech Movement
Started at UC Berkeley in 1964
Reaction to administrative ban on political debate on campus space
Anti-authority movement fueled by anger over Vietnam war
First of the large-scale student mobilization that moved from UC Berkeley to Columbia University in New York, to West Berlin, to even communist China
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