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March 1967

The Beatnik: Up—, Down—, and Off—

Author Affiliations

From Northwestern University, Chicago.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;16(3):262-267. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730210002002

Who Calls Whom a Beatnik?  LONG BEFORE Plato commented on it in the Phaedo, it had become customary for the elders of each era to deplore the physical, civic, military, and moral degeneration of the youth of their time. Today our girls are no longer as buoyant nor our boys as gallant as we were in our day, and, indeed, in their intransigent departures from our more courtly ways, too many of them beat the drums for being "Beatniks." The term, as adopted by them with defiant avidity, thereby basically implies an accusatory assumption on their part of having been "beaten" into martyrdom—an attitude particularly irritating to those of us who regard many of them as poseurs who, if anything, have been pretty well spoiled by foolishly overpermissive parents and an excessively indulgent milieu. But the Beatnik insists that his pose be loudly advertized and trumpeted;

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