Thu 4 May 2006
If one were to try and think of what the Merry Pranksters would be like in today’s world, drugs and the amount of usage would be at the center of that decision. However, the true modern-day Prankster would be someone or a group of people who are using drugs not solely to get high, but as a means to finding to something else. In the case of Kesey and his followers, what they were chasing was intersubjectivity; the most important aspect about the Pranksters was not that they used drugs heavily; it was that they were using it as a way to find something they were all looking for. I put forward, however, that the commercialization of the hipster scene in San Francisco has taken a huge part in influencing the amount of drug use that is prevalent today. As is hypothesized throughout the book, one of the main concerns with the San Francisco scene is that many people were migrating there looking not to connect with people or to find intersubjectivity, but instead to get high on marijuana and LSD and have a good time. These drugs became popular with younger people, who are not necessarily participating in it for the meaning they have found behind it, but to have fun. More and more people start to take these drugs, and at end of the book the Acid Test Graduation fails: the people who actually were looking for some meaning behind the drugs to find a connection to each other, fail, and cannot find that significance. The others though, especially the younger generation separate from the Merry Pranksters mentioned at the end of the book, continue to do the drugs; but without that meaning behind it, it is only drug use. That drug use without importance or a purpose to it that was left behind after the Acid Test Graduation failed essentially, through its commercialization and popularization, is what helped spawn the widespread drug use among youngsters today.