Whatever you think of "Beat" writers, their influence is undeniable. Nearly the whole of the youth market...er... culture was built around what they created.
What is interesting about them is how a series of coincidences joined them together as a movement. Like Columbus' discovery of the New World, it is often over looked that it was inevitable and someone else would have done it anyway, but the story behind how it happened is sure to outlive the books they produced.
Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lucien Carr, William Burroughs and Neal Cassady met around the campus of Columbia University and sequentially introduced each other until the group was formed. Then they encouraged each other to write and competed with each other for fame until they became idols in their own time.
If it were to happen today, it would not be at a campus of a university. It would be a spontaneous gathering at a website of like-minded souls. Such groups are budding, I am sure, all over cyberspace this very moment. And although it is impossible to guess which group will become the next set of "Beat" writers, it is inevitable that someone will.
There are at least four of us on this forum who should get serious about getting himself published. Kawama, Kris, James and I. There are also others who aspire to it. I am still hoping for this to develope into a movement.