Greg Sorrell on Catholic Kerouac’s cautionary tales:
He was a deeply religious, lifelong Republican, and he loathed the counterculture that arose in response to his writing. But he was also a broken and remorseful alcoholic undeserving of his role as a moralist, and he freely admitted it (…)
At least the mad ones Kerouac followed around early in his life realized, as he did, that “If it hadn’t been for Western-style capitalism, free economic byplay, movement north south east and west, haggling, pricing, and the political balance of power carved into the U.S. Constitution, I wouldn’t have been able or allowed to hitchhike half broke through 47 states of this union and see the scene with my own eyes, unmolested.”
To Kerouac the beatniks were irritating, but tolerable. It was the politicized hippie movement, the bohemians that succeeded the beatniks in which Kerouac saw something truly sinister.
A few months before his death in 1969, Kerouac appeared on William F. Buckley’s “Firing Line” to discuss the hippie movement…