Saturday, January 26, 2013

Keroauc's On the Road -- a new book on the topic by Mark Sayers

Hi folks -- as some of you know, I use Jack Keroauc's On the Road in my Automobile and American Life class. And I am currently pondering an on the road trip of my own in my Porsche 911 soon -- very soon.  So when I say the title The Road trip that Changed the World: The Unlikely Theory That Will Change How you View Culture, The Church, and Most Importantly Yourself, my interest was piqued.

Here is an important sample from the book, pp.22-3:

"Keroauc would call for a "rucksack revolution," a generational move away from home on to the road, a new kind of lifestyle for young people that would be built upon experience, pleasure, spiritual exploration, mobility, and self-discovery.  Keroauc would write that he saw "a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks"  For Keroauc this revolution would be a way of resisting what he saw as the secularizing and stupefying effects iof mass consumer culture. His hope was founded in a sense that a new generation with a new vision for humanity was:
refusing to subscribe to the general demand that they consume production and therefore have to work for  the privilege of consuming all that...they didn't want anyway such as refrigerators, TV sets, cars, at least fancy cars, certain hair oils and deodorants and general junk you finally always see a week later in the garbage anyway, all of them imprisoned in a system of work, produce, consume, work, produce, consume."

In sum, according to this author Keroauc presided over a post-WWII cultural revolution in the U.S. in which discipline, commitment, spiritual worship, dedication to the home and family was supplanted by instant gratification, self-actualization, selfish ends, and rootless and at times purposeless mobility.

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