Tag Archives: hippies

In Defense of Hippies

(crossposted from the front page of My Left Wing)First of all, the stereotype for hippies is about as reliable as the stereotype for any other people, that is to say not at all.  Hippy culture was never monolithic.  It encompassed well over half of every kind of kid there was in the late 60s and early 70s, and spanned every socio-economic strata of American society.  If you weren’t a hippy in those days, what you know and think about hippies is probably wrong.  It’s not your fault.  The media has distorted the reality as a part of the conservative culture wars.  They are, and have always been, threatened by hippies who never had any trouble seeing straight through them and who consistently called them on their bullshit.  Progressivism (or enlightened thinking), started well before the age of the hippies, but for that one seminal decade, hippies were its natural home (though not exclusively of course).

 What do you think when you hear the term hippy?  Most likely you think of spaced out goofballs without anything more than a tenuous connection to reality, mildly dangerous dope fiends who blather endlessly about inane bullshit, or hippy-dippy airheads without an intelligent thought or coherent idea worth noting.  That kind of outrageous distortion is what a conservative and unprincipled media is capable of doing.  Were there people who approached the stereotype somewhat?  Sure – somewhat, although practically no one is that goofy or detached from reality.  Was that a majority?  No, not even nearly so in my experience.  It was at most a distinct minority, and again none of them were as goofy as the conservative propaganda has many believing.  It’s all a rightwing `big lie’, just like the one about liberals being idiots, or pacifists being pushovers.  No truth to it, just a big ugly lie told over and over to `catapult the propaganda’.

I have often encountered strongly biased attitudes toward hippies.  Most of the time there’s not much point in saying anything.  Too often people don’t want to be educated about hippies.  Hippies are beneath them, an object of scorn or derision.  I understand that it’s usually just rightwing propaganda having its way.  You can’t avoid it and if you’re insufficiently discerning, if you don’t have your bullshit detectors on, why almost anyone could end up believing it.  The other day I came across this comment in a thread about the lack of activism on the part of today’s young people, which BTW thereisnospoon did a fine job of debunking in his thread Where are the Youth? I’ll tell you where they are!

We’ve grown up being too afraid to rock the boat. Many of us grew up learning that although Vietnam was a mistake and a bad war, the protestors were even worse. “Dirty hippies who spit on soldiers” is the last thing we want to be compared with.~ anonymous young kossack

The rightwing noise machine has our kids right where they want them.  Afraid to rock the boat and of becoming no better than `dirty hippies’ (who spit on soldiers).  There were some goofy hippies and there were some dirty hippies (though most weren’t), but I never saw ANYONE spit on a soldier.  Most soldiers related well to us and vice versa – especially the one’s who had been to Nam.  They always came off the boats shooting peace signs at us, and us to them.  They hated the war and we did too.  We were natural allies.  There was no spitting.Seeing the horror and fucked-upedness of Vietnam showed people that the hippies were right all along – and that our government was strictly bad news, full of fucking liars and chickenhawks who were willing to let them die for nothing.  Well, the more things change the more they stay the same.  And the one thing I can tell you all is that it is high time to rock the fucking boat!

Also, let me point out that `dirty’ people (as bad as that sounds) are merely people with dirt.  Being clean doesn’t make you a better person – only cleaner.  I’d much rather associate with Jim S., the dirty homeless man my son and I had lunch with recently (Nam vet, former heroin addict, borderline alcoholic with a strong core of human decency that shone right through all the dirt and pathos) than to get anywhere near the spit-shined K Street crowd or the gleaming, buttoned-down, slicked-up, squeaky clean neocons out to destroy humanity.  Quaint homilies aside, cleanliness does NOT equate to human decency – or Godliness.

Another big slam on the hippies is about all the drugs they used.  First, let’s face the fact that on this issue, as with so many others, our overly conservative culture is shockingly hypocritical.  The fact is that people have always used drugs and always will.  It’s just a question of whose drugs are in and whose drugs are out at any given time.  You can’t smoke pot, but drinking yourself to death is just fine.  Alcohol, one of the very worst drugs, destroys millions of lives each year–and it’s perfectly legal.  Fancy that.  The next worst drugs after alcohol are crystal meth, heroin, pcp, and pharmaceuticals in general.  These substances are very destructive.  They attack the person who uses them.  My father is embroiled in a class-action lawsuit because the Vioxx he took for three years gave him a near fatal stroke.   Some pharmaceuticals are milder than others–but it’s all bad medicine.  The good medicines are organic: plants, fungi, cacti, which are often illegal.  Plants like cannabis, hallucinogenic mushrooms, and peyote are strongly outlawed in most countries these days, yet traditional peoples often viewed these substances as medicine as well as allies, friends and guides to assist them on their spiritual journeys.  Pharmaceutical companies hate medicines that people can grow themselves or find in the forest.  It cuts into their obscene profits from the poisons they push.  In 1971 Richard Milhouse Nixon declared the `War on Drugs’.  Tricky Dick had a pathological hatred of `drugs’, and yet swilled scotch like a drunken monkey.  His so-called `War on Drugs’ has caused irreparable harm to our society, torn families apart, ruined millions of individual lives, and overwhelmed our courts and prisons.  We should have listened to the hippies.  Drugs should be legal, rehab should be free, and education and harm reduction should be our focus.

There was a time when the pull to become a hippy was damn near universal for my generation.  When this simple song came out, it spoke directly to us all.

If you’re going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you’re going to San Francisco
You’re gonna meet some gentle people thereFor those who come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there
In the streets of San Francisco
Gentle people with flowers in their hair

All across the nation such a strange vibration
People in motion
There’s a whole generation with a new explanation
People in motion people in motion

For those who come to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there

If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there

~ written by ‘Poppa’ John Phillips, recorded by Scott McKenzie

There really was a strange vibration all across the nation.  We all felt it – me and all of my friends, and millions upon millions of others.  You didn’t really have to decide to become a hippy, you either felt the vibe or you didn’t.

Most of the hippies I knew were extremely bright, full of intellectual curiosity and life – and were just a lot of fun to be around.  Think of college kids today, now imagine them as much more liberal (and progressive), much more keen to engage the larger world in a profound way, and inhabiting a time of great cultural and spiritual upheaval. Throw in some recreational drugs, a massive dose of primal rock-n-roll, an `establishment’ that stunk to high heaven and of which we wanted no part, the paranoia of a bloody shooting war in Vietnam and an active draft, and you begin to get a picture of what hippies were really like.  In school they were more often the smart kids than the dumb ones.  They tended to be intellectuals, or in some cases just different – although there was also room for the underachievers as we were pretty much equal opportunity employers (so to speak).

Hippies attracted kids who were offbeat or not readily accepted in other cliques, kids who looked a little strange or thought a little differently.  Why?  Because hippies were tolerant and accepting people who would try to love you even if the reasons why they should were not abundantly apparent.  Love, peace, and kindness were our highest ethics.  Almost anyone could find a home with the hippies as long as they were non-violent.  That’s what made the hippy sections of large cities so damned interesting – the sheer variety of colorful characters who felt at home there.  Hippies were welcoming and generous people.  They cared about humanity for humanity’s sake.  You didn’t have to be an important person, a successful person, wealthy, accomplished, learned, or whatever.  You could be any of those things or none of those things.  It was enough to be a person.  The idea was to be a good and decent person, an authentic person, a person unlike those who thought it was okay to drop bombs on people.

Plastic people, ooh baby now, you’re such a drag!  ~ Frank Zappa

`Plastic people’ was what we called those who were so superficial and lame that they never questioned anything they were told by the `authorities’ – the same sort of folks sometimes referred to as sheeple these days.  Hippies were different – we questioned everything.  We believed that everyone should think for themselves.  Contrary to popular belief, virtually all of the best and brightest of our generation were hippies.  If you were between the ages of 15 and 30 between 1965 and 1975, and you were smart and had a soul, you were most likely a hippy.

It was fun being a hippy.  We were like a large extended family.  We sheltered each other, fed each other, and helped each other.  We raised money to pay for free clinics, food co-ops, and bail funds for busted hippies.  We acted as a real and unusually caring community.  There were crash pads if you needed a place to stay, free food was generally available, and people took care of each other as the need arose.

As a hippy you could go into any large city, find the hippy part of town, and instantly connect to like-minded brethren – though all were strangers.

Let me acknowledge that I am generalizing somewhat because hippies were not all alike by any stretch of the imagination – yet we tended to have certain things in common, certain philosophies.  We opposed war, the one in Vietnam that was ongoing at the time, and all others as well.  We believed it was possible for civilized people to work things out without resorting to violence.  We believed in tolerance, acceptance, and compassion.  We advocated peace, love, and understanding.

What’s so funny about peace, love, and understanding?

~ Nick Lowe

The hippies I knew and respected most were among the most serious people I would ever meet.  They were radically curious and unwilling to accept false or facile answers to tough questions.  We were very serious young people who took our responsibility to understand the world accurately and to act upon it in a profoundly positive way very seriously indeed – much more seriously than a majority of our non-hippy peers I dare say.

But mostly we were brothers and sisters embracing an ethic of gentleness and kindness, and who felt a deeply human and humane connection to one another.  My closest friends, hippies all (or freaks as we came to call ourselves), as I look back on them in all their joyful idealism, were among the noblest creatures to ever grace this planet.

1967 is the year the hippy movement took root in the USA, though it had been building for years.  I turned 15 that year and was already dialed in.  I knew all about Timothy Leary (turn on, tune in, drop out), had read all about pot and couldn’t wait to start smokin’ it.  I worshipped the Beatles and the Stones and all the other rock gods.I was a hippy waiting to happen, and when the wave came I caught it.  I smoked, dropped acid, and took mescaline.  I left home, dropped out of school, and hit the road hitchhiking across the country to get a realeducation.

Everywhere I went I had an instant connection to other hippies.  We all instantly recognized each other (most of us were sort of hard to miss 😀 ).  Flashing a peace sign was like showing ID.  It said `Hey!  I’m one of the cool ones!’  Most hippies were generous and kind to a fault.  Most anybody you met would offer you a place to stay for a day or two, and treat you like an honored guest whilst you were amongst them.

Hippies would always pick me up hitchhiking, and usually get me stoned, feed me, whatever.  There was a powerful sense of brotherhood between hippies.  It was a trip…like having family you never met in every city.  There was a ton of goodwill between us.  We all believed in peace and love after all.

The height of my hippy career was Woodstock in August of 69…three days of peace and music…I can still feel the love.  🙂  I haven’t felt a sense of brotherhood like that since those days went by the wayside.

Though I don’t much look like it these days, I will always think of myself as a hippie.  It was the best damn thing I ever was.

~ Easy Livin’, coolest hippie I ever knew

Hippies had a major impact on the broader culture.  For all of those who hated us, others were inspired by us – people such as artists, musicians, and intellectuals.  Popular art was strongly affected by the counter culture.

We also influenced the fine art of the day – or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that we shared influences.

Our numerous wonderful and colorful influences on American culture were appreciated by many, but not all.  Conservatives, whom the culture was trying desperately to break away from, hated us.  We saw them for what they were and we called a spade a spade.  We called them pigs because that’s what they were (and still are).  They didn’t much like that – or us for that matter.  They hated the truth about themselves or about anything else – and they hated us for telling it.  Because of their grip on the propaganda machine, their voices dominated and we faced horrible discrimination as a result.  Ironically, this only served to strengthen our bonds with black Americans, Native Americans, gay Americans and all others who experienced the same sort of treatment.  We embraced Truth, Love, and Peace.  Nothing is more threatening to those who live on Lies, Hatred, and War.  We preached against materialism while their whole world ran on it.  Greed and materialism was what they were all about and we told them so.  We filled them with fear and loathing, and they were merciless towards us.

The legacy of the hippies:

– There’s nothing funny about Peace, Love, and Understanding.
– Peace is better than War, Love is better than Hate, and Understanding is better than Ignorance.
– An opened mind is a useful approach to life.
– People deserve to be loved, accepted, and cared for.
– Drug warriors and laws against drugs do infinitely more harm than drugs themselves.
– People should be totally free as long as they aren’t hurting or causing harm to anyone.
– We should all have more respect, empathy, and concern for one another.
– War and violence suck and have no place in civilized society!
– Our government lies like a fucking rug and must be restrained by the people.
– The excesses of capitalism must likewise be restrained by the people.
– It is easier to mock, scorn, or trivialize than it is to understand, but understanding is worth the effort.

How many hippies does it take to put out a forest fire?



;How many hippies does it take to put out a forest fire? All of them, which in this case means the 300 to 400 who are nearby when a blaze ignites – probably from an errant campfire – and threatens to scorch a remote, tinder-dry campsite that is their temporary home. It takes hippies in a quarter-mile long bucket brigade dipping water in pots, pans, coolers, empty milk jugs, five-gallon buckets, plastic carboys and anything else that will move water from lake to tree line, where the flames are halfway up 50-foot slash pines and spreading fast in a gusty wind.;;;And what a psychedelic firefighting crew it is: one woman dipping vessels in the lake is naked, others are wearing flowing dresses. A lot of people battling the blaze are barefoot, many of them are high. But only a few hesitate when the call comes to “save our house.”

;;The fire is the most adrenaline-pumping scene of a strange and twisted weekend at the Rainbow Family of Living Light’s annual Florida Gathering in the Ocala National Forest. All Rainbow gatherings are a chance for “Babylonians” – Rainbow slang for those of us who don’t live in the forest full-time – to get a glimpse of a nomadic, non-hierarchical lifestyle predicated on love, acceptance, freedom and the barter system. This weekend, however, offers the added excitement of a peak at how even neo-utopian societies splinter into “us” and “them,” and how hippies pull together to save their collective ass.

;;Take a walk

;;There are two ways to get to Rainbowland, which is called Farles Prairie the other 50 weeks of the year. The South Gate, also called the back gate, is where Forest Road 595 intersects with the Florida Trail. Walk past the hand-pumped well the Rainbows use as a water supply and turn right at the sign that reads “welcome home.”

;;Here the Florida Trail is a narrow, curving hiking path carved out of a stand of pine and saw palmettos on the eastern shore of Farles Lake. It’s just wide enough for a couple hippies on foot to pass. Think of it as Rainbowland’s driveway.

;;Rainbowland is pretty spread out; it’s about a mile and one-half from Forest Road 595 to the Main Circle. On the way you pass camp Burnt the Fuck Out, That Camp, Camp Fuck Off, Shut Up and Eat It and other sites. Be on the lookout for hippie roadblocks.

;;”Joke, toke or smoke,” slurs a dirty faced young man with bare feet a couple hundred feet along the trail. “Or you can’t pass.”

;;He’s easily distracted though, and if you don’t have a toke or a smoke, and can’t think of a joke, just walk by.

;;”Everybody’s bypassing,” he shouts. “Lame!”

;;Rainbows are a friendly family, though. “Welcome home!” is a common greeting; “lovin’ you!” is another.

;;Turn right off the Florida Trail at camp Woodstock Nation and you’re in the Trading Circle, the economic beating heart of Rainbowland, if there could be said to be such a thing. Cash is no good in the forest; the Rainbows discourage it and selling things can get them in trouble with the park rangers. But if you have camping gear, rope, knives, cigarettes, books or musical instruments to trade, you can make a deal for a pipe, artwork and pamphlets on everything from DIY repairs to DIY gynecology.

;; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

; A guide to communicating with The Family ;
A-Camp: Alcohol camp, where drinkers congregate, usually separate from the main camp.

;Babylon: The “real” world, i.e. everywhere outside of a gathering.

;Bus Village: A group of large, live-in vehicles, generally distant from the main camp which is typically not accessible by road.

;Focalizer: A volunteer who helps coordinate and organize regional family events, and also helps publicize them.

;Guns in the woods: Cops on patrol. See also six up.

;Kids’ Village: Where parents with young kids and expectant parents camp at a gathering.

;Lovin’ you! Rainbow greeting, used like “hello.”

;Magic Hat: The collection plate used to buy food and supplies.

;Movie: What’s going on around you at any given time; a scene.

;Om: The mystical syllable in Dharmic religions, used by Rainbows to help calm and focus. Also spelled “aum.”

;Six up: Cops on patrol in the woods; refers to the number of lights on top of a police cruiser. See guns in the woods.

;Welcome home! Rainbow greeting used when you are on your way into the woods from Babylon.


– Bob Whitby


;Five more minutes and you’ve arrived at Main Circle, a large fire pit framed by logs. Main Circle is where the action is; at night the fire never goes out, the drums never stop playing and there’s usually somebody doing the mechanistic dance of the hippies until dawn.

;;Main Circle is usually where you’ll find Grandpa Woodstock, the oldest and perhaps least inhibited Rainbow in Ocala. During the day when it’s warm he strolls around in his red felt hat and nothing else. At night he sports a flowing red robe that gives him the air of a bedraggled wizard out of Lord of the Rings.His hair and beard are plaited, his fingernails are painted red. He’s the unofficial historian of the Rainbow Family, shooting everything on his video camera and playing it back on a marine-battery powered TV monitor lashed to his bicycle. He says he’s got footage from gatherings dating back to 1999.

;;”There’s a lot of love here,” he says. “I travel around the country spreading peace and love. Google me. You’ll find me all over the place.”

;;Main Circle is also where you’ll find Darrin Selby, 46, and his Cosmic Grasshopper, a human-powered carriage that uses the weight of the passenger to lever the driver into the air in 10-foot hops. Selby’s Grasshopper is constructed of aluminum tubing covered with intricate weavings. It looks like you’d break it by stepping on it, but it’s rock solid. The cavernous interior features slings in which you can recline or sleep.

;;It’s the latest model of Selby’s line of “Skedaddlehoppers,” which are part art and part social statement. “My message is simple,” he says. “Slow down. Slow way down. Have it all with you so you don’t have to go so fast back and forth to get it all.”

;;Back in 2002, Selby and his contraption were a little too slow for the authorities in his hometown of Woodstock, New York, however. They cited him for impeding traffic, a minor flap that made the The New York Times thanks to Selby’s counter-cultural lifestyle and his knack for whimsical engineering.

;;North past Main Circle the trail passes camps Sit Down & Kick It (along with Sit Down & Side Kick It), Bear Necessities and On Your Way Café before ending at Forest Road 599A and A-Camp. Bring comfortable shoes; a walk from one end of Rainbowland to the other is about five miles.

;;There’s a reason the two entrances are far apart; each draws a different kind of Rainbow, and the two don’t always mix. Coming from the South Gate it’s all peace and love; at the north entrance the party never ends. The drug of choice at the Main Circle is pot. A-Camp awash in booze; the “A” stands for alcohol.

;;Arjay Sutton, one of the Ocala gathering’s “focalizers,” talks often about the differences between the Rainbows drawn to each camp. Gatherings aren’t parties, he says; they are family reunions, the point of which is to learn to live in peace and love one another. He fears the sides are drifting apart, and resentment is building. There’s evidence of that on the Internet. The web site for the Florida Gathering described A-Camp this way: “Bus village, Raven’s Nest Bar, agro drunk block likely. … Individuals at this camp believe they need to stop and inspect every vehicle entering. … Watch the sugar sand and beware of aggressive intoxicated people stopping cars. Best not to use this entrance at night.”

;;;Rainbows and The Man

;;The first Rainbow Gathering was held in Colorado in 1972. It was supposed to be a one-time, four-day event. Instead it happened again the next year, and in subsequent years, on federal land in a different state.

;;Last year’s national gathering, in the Routt National Forest north of Steamboat Springs, Colo., drew 20,000 people. It made headlines when two Rainbow Family members were sentenced to six months in jail for stealing spoiled produce from behind a grocery store. Their sentences were later reduced to a week and both were released with time served.

;;Ocala is a regional gathering, and a lot smaller. The National Forest Service, which issues permits for the Rainbows, estimates that between 500 and 700 people will attend the Ocala gathering during its two-week run Feb. 14 to 28. “Ten years ago we’d see gatherings of 1,200 or so,” says Denise Rains, a Forest Service spokesperson in Tallahassee. “It’s dwindled.”

;;Back in the day, the Rainbows refused to cooperate with the Forest Service by getting permits. That led to clashes between the feds and the hippies. Roadblocks set up by the cops on main arteries leading into the were common, says Sutton, as were feds patrolling the camps.

;; But for the last five years the Rainbows have pulled permits for their stay in Ocala, which seems to have increased the peace. “Nobody expected the permit process to work,” he says. “But it does. What it does is set up rules of engagement between the Forest Service and the hippies.”

;;Sutton reports that some hippies have been stopped by cops this year. But law enforcement presence is negligible on the last weekend of the gathering; there isn’t a cop in sight on the roads leading into Rainbowland or in the camp itself. Only one call of “guns in the woods” – Rainbow slang for rangers on patrol – goes through the camp all weekend.

;;Rains characterizes the relationship between the feds and the Rainbows as non-adversarial. “That group has been coming to the forest for 10 years. We have a longstanding relationship with them. We sort of plan for them to be there and we don’t really have a lot of problems.”

;;And Sutton has changed his mind about working with the government in the last few years. He is part of a new branch of the Rainbows dubbed the American Rainbow Rapid Response, a sub-group of hippies who put their skill of feeding a lot of people with few resources, learned in the woods over decades, to work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

;;The idea of hippies doing anything “rapidly” sounds like punch line fodder, but the Rainbows were feeding 3,000 to 4,000 meals a day in Waveland, Miss. They worked alongside evangelical Christians in a cooperative effort the Los Angeles Times dubbed “A gospel and granola bond.”

;;”Waveland has really influenced the way we see the government,” says Sutton. “We used to see them as the enemy. Now we see them as a partner.”

;;;Trouble in paradise

;;Every night at sunset when the call “circle!” goes up, hippies wander alone and in groups to the Main Circle. After forming a circle, or something resembling one, the Rainbows hold hands and “om” three times; three deep breaths in, three long “oms” out. Then a cheer goes up and everyone sits down on the ground with their plate and utensils in front of them. Two women carry the “Magic Hat” around the circle, singing a tune about how it turns money into food. It’s the only time Rainbows will hit you up for cash at a gathering. If you don’t have anything to contribute, that’s fine too. It’s entirely possible to live in the woods for weeks with the Rainbows and not have a cent to your name.


click to enlargecover1jpg

;A handful of the camps are also kitchens, and each kitchen brings a dish to Main Circle, enough to feed a couple hundred people. They walk the circle, scooping food from huge pots or coolers on to people’s plates. Rainbow food is hearty and bland. If you want spices, bring your own. Friday night’s menu is pasta salad, rice and beans, chopped lettuce salad with a squirt of oil and vinegar, and a five-bean salad.

;;Rainbow food is also vegetarian; at least the fare served at Main Circle. On Friday one kitchen brings a chicken and rice dish – reportedly containing a pinch of ganja – and all hell breaks loose. Someone starts yelling about the sanctity of the circle and how it’s never cool to bring meat, someone else joins in and the offending kitchen is shouted out of the circle.

;;That’s the Rainbow way; there are no leaders, only people with ideas. You put your idea out there and if it attracts a following, it’s probably good. A group will coalesce around a good idea, and something gets done. If your idea is met with silence or shrugs, it’s not so good. After a few of those nobody listens to you.

;;Of course non-hierarchical decision making has its drawbacks, as is demonstrated after dinner Friday. What do you do if, say, a group of drunk, agro A-Campers is on their way to the Main Circle to air their grievances, in a car?

;;”Ninja mission to block the trail!” suggests a Rainbow named Doc. “We put a log down in the trail 10 feet in front of their car! Then another one 10 feet after that!”

;;”There’s no way they can make it,” suggests another family member. “Let ’em stay out in the woods. You can’t bring a car to Main Circle.”

;;”We can’t leave a car in the woods!” shouts a third. “It’s not like it’s going to decompose. We need 15 hippies to pick it up and carry it out.”

;;Finally a consensus is reached: A small, calm party will confront the A-Campers, hear what they have to say, then help push the car out of the woods. But as a few hippies leave to hike down the dark trail to where the car is stuck, more join in. Soon there are 30 to 40 of them clustered at the spot where the car is wedged between two saplings, its headlights still burning. They made it within an eighth of a mile to Main Circle on the twisting, narrow trail, but they aren’t going any further. If the Main Circle hippies didn’t stop them, the lake right next to the muddy footpath would.

;;The scene quickly takes on the feeling of an angry mob storming the castle, except this bunch is armed with bongos and chants instead of pitchforks and torches. One of the A-Campers jumps on the hood of the car, beer in hand. “We’re fucking loving you, you fucking assholes!” he shouts.

;;”Get out the duct tape,” someone else yells. (Duct-taping an agro hippie to a tree is one way of getting them to settle down.)

;;”Everybody help me pick it up and turn it around!” yells someone else in the crowd.

;;”The problem is there is nowhere that the car will fit, it’s just not possible,” another person counters. “And you can’t back it up all the way to Front Gate.”

;;”Way to steal our peace!”

;;It’s complete hippie pandemonium in the woods, with barking dogs, calls for cigarettes, laughing, drumming and one woman shrieking, “I love you! I care about you! You are part of my family! Please make me safe. Is there anyway you can make me safe?”

;;The A-Camper on the hood jumps off and into the crowd. In any other situation that would have touched off a fight. But this mob begins chanting, “We love you, we love you” in unison. There is no fight. In the end a few people help free the car by pushing it backwards toward A-Camp. People filter back to the Main Circle where the drumming and dancing resumes.

;;There’s tension at all gatherings between the A-Campers and the rest of the family; the former want to get out in the woods and get fucked up, the latter reject society and are earnestly trying to live with as few of its rules and limitations as possible. Many of them travel full-time with the family, moving from forest to forest in a series of never-ending gatherings.

;;Sutton says later that the car incident Ocala A-Campers felt slighted by the description of them and their site on the Internet. He and others hope the situation doesn’t deteriorate into a war.

;;”They’ll come after us with sticks and we’ll be sitting there going ‘we love you.'”


;;Hippies, you might be surprised to learn, can be industrious. Take Rainbowland’s water supply, for example. Five-hundred people and several kitchens consume a lot of water daily, and every gallon of it has to be hauled from the hand pump near Forest Road 595 to two plastic 275-gallon containers located near Main Circle and A-Camp. The best way to get it to Main Circle is across Farles Lake by motorboat, and there’s a boat making the run back and forth all day long. Getting water up to A-Camp means driving it there in a truck.

click to enlargecover3jpg

;;;A few family members moved to the site early to start preparations. They built a dock out of dead trees on the Main Circle side of Farles Lake, and they constructed an eight-foot tall stage out of the same material by lashing it together with cord. (“It’s ROSHA approved,” jokes Sutton.) Festival entertainment includes a dog show, a hippie parade and a talent show.

;;After the gathering family members will stay on site as long as 10 days to make sure everything is cleaned up. The goal is to leave the place better than they found it by clearing out deadfall that could stoke a fire.

;;Speaking of fire, one of the few rules in Rainbowland is that all campfires have to be in a proper pit. But there are no safety inspectors, as that would imply some kind of hierarchy. Shit happens, as it did on Saturday afternoon.

;;When the call of “fire!” first goes around the hippie grapevine, no one seems overly concerned; it’s impossible to understand the gravity of the situation until you’re confronted with it. But the situation is serious; the fire is in a line of trees that is burning fast and hot. All that stands between the tree line and Rainbowland is a field of grass as dry as straw. Depending on which way the wind shifts, the flames and smoke could quickly cut off access to the trails, leaving no option but the lake if things get out of hand.

;;Once the situation is clear, non-hierarchical decision making is scrapped. Time to follow orders.

;;”Get buckets!” shouts a bare-chested man in dreadlocks. “Form a line family! If you want to live, form a line!”

;;Anything and everything that will hold water is produced almost immediately and people charge into the lake and start filling them. It only takes a few minutes for the first buckets of water to reach the fire. It’s dangerous work at the front of the line; if the wind shifts people up there could be trapped.

;; Someone on a cell phone has already called the Forest Service and a helicopter with a water bucket is on the way. The news brings confusion. Will the hippie bucket brigade get in the way? Should they just let the man put out the fire?

;;”The chopper is coming, everybody back!” shouts one man, and the line starts to shrink.

;;”No, we need to get water on the fire!” shouts another.

;;Somebody else says the helicopter is going to drop chemicals on the fire and will be here any minute, speculation that sends people running back to camp to get out of the way.

;;When the chopper shows up and starts making runs between the lake and the fire, a cheer goes up and the line reforms. What was a formless gathering of dropouts is transformed into a ruthless water-moving machine that is bringing thousands of gallons from the lake the fire a quarter mile away. One woman walks up and down the line with drinking water for the hippies while a young man mops brows and offers hugs. Axes, picks and shovels materialize and there is no shortage of people willing to use them to make sure that hot spots don’t reignite.

;;Meanwhile, the chopper continues to make runs between the lake and the trees. It’s a solid hour before the first Forest Service ground crews get to site, and when they arrive there is little left for them to do.

;; “You guys outperformed some of our crews,” says of the Forest Service firefighters. “The guys in the chopper said, ‘Damn, I think they’re going to get it out.'”

;;Two hours after the fire started the call “all hippies out of the woods!” finally comes. The Rainbow Family gathers once more around Main Circle for a round of oms and a few cheers of “hippie power, fuck yeah!”

;;”Give us the end of the world and we perform great,” says family member Aaron Funk, a coordinator for American Rainbow Rapid Response. “Otherwise, we are kind of a headache.”

; bwhitby@orlandoweekly.com


Tags: ,






#video#hippies#dirty hippies,ana_christy#beatnikhiway.com#shortfilm

Start Again

<!– Start NZ On Screen – Start Again – Clip: Start Again (clip 1) Size: 585px by 410px –>
585px” height=”410px” src=”http://www.nzonscreen.com/embed/191dd575255d1e1d” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>
<!– End NZ On Screen – Start Again – Clip: Start Again (clip 1)–>


COOL PEOPLE – Ben and Jerry


  • * The 1970’s*


    Humble Beginnings

    With a $5 correspondence course in ice cream-making from Penn State and  a $12,000 investment ($4,000 of it borrowed), Ben and Jerry open their first  ice cream scoop shop in a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont.



    Next Step…

    Ben and Jerry celebrate the shop’s one-year anniversary – and the customers who made it possible – by holding the first-ever Free Cone Day: free scoops for all, all day long. The annual ice cream give-away continues today in scoop shops around the world.

Hippies in Morocco



BSD – Hippies in Morocco

French hippies Antony Lille and Luc Legrand sailed to North Africa and headed off the beaten track in search of some weird and wonderful spots.

Filmed and edited by Antoine Sabourin.




Amazing Photographs of Life at a #Hippie Tree House Village in Hawaii in the 1970s


Amazing Photographs of Life at a Hippie Tree House Village in Hawaii in the 1970s

Taylor Camp was born in the spring of 1969 when Howard Taylor (brother of actress Elizabeth) bailed out thirteen hippies seeking refuge from the ongoing campus riots in America and police brutality. The camp formed on the idea offree living, settled in this tree house village on the beautiful shore of Kauai. Clothing-optional, pot-friendly, rent free, and no politics made this village utopia in paradise.These nostalgic photos were taken by John Wehrheim who was a Taylor Camp resident. Such magical images he captured of this village which many look back as the “happiest days of their lives”. Sadly the community was torched and put to an end in 1977 to make room for a state park.

The Taylor Camp book is also available to buy here.




TO SET THE MOOD -Bryan Adams – Summer Of 69 Live



Amazing Photographs Of The Summer Of 1969 In New York

Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick

David McCabe, Andy Warhol & Edie Sedgwick with Empire State Building New York, 1964. C-print. 47.5 x 33.5 cm.


IMAGE6IMAGE8 IMAGE5Image result for photos of nyc in the 60's


That ’60s show: What American high school students dressed like in 1969


When students (and teachers) turned on, tuned in, and dropped classes

by Chris Wild

Woodside High, California.


The latest rule in girls’ high school
fashion is that there isn’t any.

Left to right: Pam Pepin, Pat Auvenshine and Kim Robertson, at Corona del Mar High School in California.


Rooted in the the early 1960s “Beat Generation,” hippies were about freedom — of expression, of living and, of course, of love.

When it came to style, this meant individuality and customization over mass production: long hair for men, little makeup for women, bras optional. By 1967, a raft of publications and handbooks explained exactly how to dress like a hippie. Ruth Bronsteen’s “The Hippy’s Handbook” even included graphics on how to rock the look.

But in 1969, the year of these photographs, hippie fashion was evolving from counter culture to, well, culture. And young people were informing the change. Most of the students you see here are wearing off-the-shelf fashions — still recognizably hippie, but more homogenized.

Being a hippy was safe, but somehow not as free.

A Southern California high school student walks toward her classmates while wearing the “Mini Jupe” skirt.


Guess what, I might be the first hippie pinup girl.

High schooler Lenore Reday stops traffic while wearing a bell-bottomed jumpsuit, in Newport Beach, California.


Beverly High School classmates.


Southern California high school students wear hippie fashion, in California.


Southern California high school student wear Bermuda overalls.


Students of Woodside High wearing hippie fashion, such as ponchos, boots and sandals, in California.


High Schooler Nina Nalhaus wears wool pants and a homemade jacket at high school, in Denver, Colorado.


Beverly Hills high school student Erica Farber wears a checker and tiered outfit as she walks with a young man.


High school student band, in California.


High school student wears hippie fashion consisting of bell bottoms and boots.


High school student Rosemary Shoong.


Southern California high schooler wearing a buckskin vest.


High school student wearing an old-fashioned tapestry skirt and wool shawl.


High School teacher Sandy Brockman wearing a bold print hippie-style dress, in Denver, Colorado.


  • Research:Amanda Uren
  • Text andcuration:Chris Wild

The Counterculture

The Counterculture

mm980images (16) images (15) images (14) images (13)

Counterculture is a term describing the values and norms of a cultural group that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day.


  • Apply the concept of counterculture to the rise and collapse of the US Hippie movement


  • Examples of countercultures in the U.S. could include the hippie movement of the 1960s, the green movement, polygamists, and feminist groups.
  • A counterculture is a subculture with the addition that some of its beliefs, values, or norms challenge or even contradict those of the main culture of which it is part.
  • Countercultures run counter to dominant cultures and the social mainstream of the day.


  • culture

    The beliefs, values, behavior, and material objects that constitute a people’s way of life.

  • mainstream

    Purchased, used, or accepted broadly rather than by a tiny fraction of a population or market; common, usual, or conventional.

  • counterculture
  • images (10)
  • Any culture whose values and lifestyles are opposed to those of the established mainstream culture, especially to western culture.


download (5) download (4) images (12) images (11)

  • Modern American Marxist political groups are examples of countercultures — they promote a worldview and set of norms and values that are contrary to the dominant American system.

Give us feedback on this content:


Counterculture is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition. Counterculture can also describe a group whose behavior deviates from the societal norm.

In the United States, the counterculture of the 1960s became identified with the rejection of conventional social norms of the 1950s. Counterculture youth rejected the cultural standards of their parents, especially with respect to racial segregation and initial widespread support for the Vietnam War.

As the 1960s progressed, widespread tensions developed in American society that tended to flow along generational lines regarding the war in Vietnam, race relations, sexual mores, women’s rights, traditional modes of authority, and a materialisticinterpretation of the American Dream. Hippies became the largest countercultural group in the United States. The counterculture also had access to a media eager to present their concerns to a wider public. Demonstrations for social justice created far-reaching changes affecting many aspects of society .

Hippies at an Anti-Vietnam Demonstration, 1967

Hippies at an Anti-Vietnam Demonstration, 1967
A female demonstrator offers a flower to military police on guard at the Pentagon during an anti-Vietnam demonstration.

The counterculture in the United States lasted from roughly 1964 to 1973 — coinciding with America’s involvement in Vietnam — and reached its peak in 1967, the “Summer of Love. ” The movement divided the country: to some Americans, these attributes reflected American ideals of free speech, equality, world peace, and the pursuit of happiness; to others, the same attributes reflected a self-indulgent, pointlessly rebellious, unpatriotic, and destructive assault on America’s traditional moral order.

The counterculture collapsed circa 1973, and many have attributed its collapse to two major reasons: First, the most popular of its political goals — civil rights, civil liberties, gender equality, environmentalism, and the end of the Vietnam War — were accomplished. Second, a decline of idealism and hedonism occurred as many notable counterculture figures died, the rest settled into mainstream society and started their own families, and the “magic economy” of the 1960s gave way to the stagflation of the 1970s.

Source: Boundless. “Countercultures.” Boundless Sociology. Boundless, 03 Jul. 2014. Retrieved 29 Nov. 2014 from https://www.boundless.com/sociology/textbooks/boundless-sociology-textbook/culture-and-socialization-3/culture-worlds-32/countercultures-204-8929/