Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chapters 13-16

Kesey and the Pranksters go through quite a bit throughout these couple of chapters.  They meet the Hell's Angels and become great friends with them, they meet the Young Turks, a religious group and develop on their ideas, they attend a Beatles concert and encounter a butch of "teeny freaks," and they go to an anti war rally that ends up getting tear gas'd at the end.  A peaceful group that encounters crazy things indeed.  Kesey is not afraid of anyone, he will try to make friends with whoever in order to spread his ideologies.  The Hell's Angels are an intimidating group of bikers who are constantly getting into trouble and bashing people's heads.  Kesey has no problem introducing himself and the Pranksters to them however, he even changes their perceptions.  They spend six-seven weeks doing drugs and drinking beer together and the Angels love it.  They love everything about it and Kesey certainly grew on them until Kesey questioned their moral values.

Kesey questioned the fact that these Angels were real, he referred to one of them as being fake.  The Angels took this to offense and said that all of the Angels were 100% real no if ands or buts.  Kesey said that this one in particular was fake though, because he truly "knew him."  Nobody really got what this meant but I interpreted it as this.  Kesey often looks beyond a person's exterior, their portrayed personality in society.  Kesey can see through people, he can interpret people at a different level than the norm.  In fact he can interpret anything at a different level.  Kesey and the pranksters don't look at a toaster and say, "oh it's just a toaster."  They see a toaster as an infinite amount of possibilities.  This toaster can be developed into an unlimited number of thoughts and ideas.  Someone outside of this group might think this is strange but for people like Kesey they are the intellectual ones, and the drugs are helping them see past everybody elses' thought process.   

A 30 year old man named Owsley introduces himself to Kesey.  Not knowing who the hell Owsley is he describes to Kesey that he is one of the largest acid distributors that Kesey will ever encounter.  Kesey learns slowly that this is true and that Owsley in fact ends up starting a music group known as "The Grateful Dead," solely playing a form of music known as "Acid Rock."  What I want to talk about here are inspirations.  What inspires people often differs, for some people it is friends and family, for some people it is a maybe a lover, and for some people drugs has a heavy influence on their inspirations.  These people may be considered strange and weird, such as Owsley, Frank Zappa, Jim Morrison, etc. but they are legends in the music history books.  They have created movements, movements of outsiders that can connect with each other and become the majority, dominate the "normal" and become the "strange."  Inspirations don't have to be positive influences, they can also be negative.  Kesey and his group know that the war in Vietnam is wrong, and they even protest against it.  But it is quite possible that the war has created this population of rebellious, hippy drug takers in the first place!

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