“The electric kool and acid test” is a story of how a group of young people mostly from out of California relied on drug use, multimedia experiences and strange music to bring consciousness of those who participated in these events. This movement is commonly known as psychedelic movement.
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The story portrays one guy by the name Ken kesey and a group that follows him called the merry pranksters. Kesey enrolls to take part in a drug study under sponsorship of the CIA. This happens when she is attending Stanford’s creative writing program. The drug given to kesey is an experimental drug by the name LSD.
Kesey attracts followers due to his leadership capability well as because of his transcendent state which he becomes under the influence of this drug. The group that follows Kesey calls itself the pranksters. This group performs experiments that involve lights and noise. This group paints everything in neon glow colors. The residents of La Honda get worried but there isn’t much they can do as the drug is legal. The group decides to explore the world. They take a trip to New York to be in attendance of the New York World Fair. They buy a bus and paint it in neon glowing colors and name it “Furthur”.
They come back to California and Kesey begins to be recognized as a leader of an upcoming cultural movement. Kesey even becomes friends with a group of motorcyclists called “hell’s angels”. He even retreats against a group of church leaders. After this the movement is seen as a religious movement.
To influence others into their lifestyle they hold parties called acid tests. These parties become very popular. At some point kesey is found by authorities in possession of marijuana and faces jail term. Seeing this he flees to Mexico and his group follows him. In Mexico life is not fun like in the US so Kesey and his group sneak back into the US and do all they can to avoid the authorities. The FBI finally catches up with him.
He is brought in front of a judge. He pleads with the judge to let him go so that he can attend his acid test graduation in which they would try to transcend time and space. They would however do this without the help of the LSD drug. The graduation which draws huge crowds and media coverage turns out to be a big failure. No one follows Kesey and his group anymore. In the end kesey marries and settles in Oregon with his family. The pranksters go their separate ways.
The movement came in 1968 after the Second World War. It was a group of promising middle class youth with advantage. They however adopted a lot of vices like drugs and sexual revolts. They came to be known as “hippies”.
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