Because of my job at ABC I got to meet all of the Beat Generation icons, guys like Jack Kerouac..
and comic Lenny Bruce and many artists who shaped so much of the 50's and the hippie generation that followed. I too was in rebellion against The System since I was born. I abhorred war and killing of any life form, and I was filled with revulsion at the violent history of the world. It became my passion to reject the evil currents of life that were sucking us into a whirlpool of violence and death. I had a vision that everything in life was backward. I hated to see the paving over of beautiful fields and hills. I hated to see the grass cut or the brutality and disrespect for animal life on the farm where I had to work as a child because of World War II when all the men went off to war. I wanted to be free. I wanted to fly away. I always felt there was something better, and I wanted to create it.
I remember one night we did a show on KABC-TV in studio F with all of the major hippie and beatnik icons who were in town or willing to get there from San Francisco or New York. It seemed like a great idea.
However, it turned into a chaotic mob rage. Poet Allen Ginsberg had his protégés and they did not like certain other poets whom they deemed to be out of touch and inferior. A large contingent of beatnik artists were also there. Certain painters did not like each other's art and there was a big protest by many artists and poets because they claimed Lenny Bruce had no business being part of the show because he was a comic. But then there were those who thought Lenny Bruce should be on the show because he used swearwords and that was considered to be a good thing.
I was in the middle of this mess and tried to keep everybody calm and tried to help the Producer find a way to make it work.
But as much as there was all of this infighting, the bottom line was that all of these guys wanted a spot on the show and gave up their demands as airtime approached. Somehow we sorted it out. All of the rebels got their five minutes of fame on local television in Los Angeles.
I was glad I got out of there alive.
Cervantes got it right and so did Shakespeare who saw the cosmic joke. Life is indeed a stage and we are merely players.