Robyn Touchstone (r-touchstone) Wed 4 Apr 07 20:03
Scott, I think you really hit upon the key difference of hippies from beats, in pointing out the "collectivist idealism." Whereas the Beats seemed clique-ish and malfloralist (to coin a term derived from Baudelaire), there really was a kind of hippie "nation," a fraternal consciousness of WE (humanity), and an optimist idealism that none of our subsequent countercultural movements (punk, slacker, grunge, hacker, etc.) have exemplified. And yet most of the novels that you examined, focusing as they did primarily on individual protagonists & their quests & crises, did not evoke that sense of utopian tribalism so well as, arguably, Mailer's broader sociological study in Armies of the Night. You point out in your book that most of the authors of these works were actually from a generation or two before most hippies--do you suppose that is why that sense of belonging to a tribe with a collective mission isn't the main thrust of these novels? Or is it endemic to a successful novelistic narrative to emphasize what is distinctive between characters over what unites them?
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Wed 4 Apr 07 20:22
Hi Steve. Great comments on Kerouac. I am pleased you're both reading and enjoying The Hippie Narrative! Regarding The Dharma Bums, as you know, it ends on Desolation Peak in the North Cascades above the little town of Marblemount in the upper Skagit River Valley. Currently, I live downstream from there, up the hill from where Captain Kendricks Memorial Hot Dog Wildlife Preserve and Roadside Attraction is supposed to be. As an anecdote, on St. Patrick's Day last month, I went to a pizza place near Marblemount to hear Roger and Celeste play fiddle and guitar. I hadn't seen them for 15 years. Roger was a founder of the short-lived Three Lights Commune in Marblemount in 1970 or so. I met them when I was still in college in Seattle when we shared a house. Their baby, Noah Star, was 6 months old and our son was 12 months old. At their St. Paddy's gig, I brought them a copy of The Hippie Narrative, blaming them in no small measure for those cross country and other hippie adventures we had after sharing that house. Roger & Celeste looked straitlaced enough, but their fine son, Noah Star, is now 28, longhaired and a member of U.S.E., a Seattle band that is quite popular these days in Japan for its accessible techno-fusion dance sound. (But I digress with this cook up of nostalgic mush). As for a list of films, I didn't have anything like that in mind, except to compare the movie and literature versions of Cuckoo's Nest, Great Notion, Slaughterhouse Five and Even Cowgirls. Mostly, I ignored the film adaptations and concentrated on how these narrative were rendered as literature. However, as this Inkwell conversation unfolds, I can see we have the makings of an encyclopedic set. Volume IV- The Hippie Film: A Celluloid Perspective on the Counterculture. (How much of this floating zendo Hippie Perspective talk will the world be able to handle from the land of aging Bodhisattvas?!!?)
Gail Williams (gail) Wed 4 Apr 07 21:07
But all bodhisattvas are aging? Hi! I have a bunch of thoughts, mostly orthagonal to the conversation, so I'll hold for a bit except to say I love when Inkwell conversations trigger so many interesting comments. If you come up with plans for a sequel from an Inkwell converation you will not be the first! One aside: For anyone interested in some reflections on the idea of Hippie from ten years ago here on The WELL, here's a archived discussion from people of mixed ages and involvements, with some movie refs and personal stories that shows how drifty and collage-like discussions can get around here. (anyone logged in click on <boomers.old.217> and check it out for some interesting thoughts on movies, marketing and the truely hip.
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Wed 4 Apr 07 21:23
Hi Robyn. I think the depiction of a collectivist idealism does manifest itself in several of these books. Actually, in Armies of the Night, Mailer's climactic depiction of the symbolic army of protesters being bludgeoned in the night--especially, the singling out of the women by the real Army--is a statement of outrage, not idealism, even though at another point in the book Mailer, cautiously, is going to put his faith in those "villains, that are the hippies." The allure of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, I think, had as much to do with Wolfe's portrayal of the tribal configuration of this wild, new lifestyle being adopted by Kesey and the Pranksters, as it did with the LSD. For me, the most fascinating part of this book was the degree to which the Pranksters melded with one another in a heightened state of collective intersubjectivity. Was it just illusory? or was it a true group transcendence of individual egos into a sort of tribal state of "kairos," as Wolfe called it? Divine Right's Trip not only shows the collectivist instincts of the hippie scene, but takes it a step further when Gurney Norman has D.R. and Estelle needing to integrate their idealism and dreams into a longstanding community populated by the everyday, usually god-fearing, occasionally moonshine-drinking folks in the Cumberland Mtns of Kentucky. The collectivism portrayed here was not that of an insular commune that shuts out the surrounding community, but a realizable idealism that allowed this young hippie couple to find a wholesome place for themselves in this traditional community. Finally, both of Tom Robbins' works have a communal texture. His roadside attraction is exactly that, a collectivist gathering place that, like a magnet, draws people to it. Amanda, similarly, has an enlightened, sensual energy that draws people to her. In Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1976), the all-woman commune faces--comically--most all the same challenges that the prototypical hippie commune faced just a few years earlier. Their idealism and collectivism was severely challenged by a society that is sometimes paranoid in its policing tactics and favors privatized living that is fueled by individual consumerism. And, not to mention the challenges of an internal group dynamic, how does any idealistic commune facing such external pressures survive? Robbins' book thrives on all the absurdist/collectivist conflict manifested in such a setting. I don't think that the age of the authors born in the mid-1930s, which is most of them in The Hippie Narrative, is an issue. To be about thirty in 1967 is to not be an old fogey, but still to have had enough perspective and life experience to write about this tumultuous time better than, say, a 17 year-old flowerchild/streetkid trying to eek out his or her survival on the sidewalks of Haight Street.
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Wed 4 Apr 07 21:33
Welcome, Gail. Orthagonal can be good so long as it doesn't cause our minds to turn to cooked mush. Also, thanks for pointing out the Hippie discussion archive in The Well.
Dan Levy (danlevy) Thu 5 Apr 07 05:05
Scott, what is the method of purchasing your book that will land the most bucks in your pocket?
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 5 Apr 07 08:52
Hi Dan. The best question, yet. Send me one of those credit card checks that you've signed, let me know how much your credit limit is, and I will fill in the amount and send you a signed copy. Actually, Amazon.com is the best way to buy the book since they won't charge you postage, and you will receive it fastest. Thanks for asking.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Thu 5 Apr 07 09:06
Inkwell's front page -- http://www.well.com/inkwell -- currently has a link directly to "The Hippie Narrative" at Amazon.com, by the way. Scott, you presented "The Hippie Narrative" in a three-part form that you called "acts." You titled Act I, which covered the early '60s, Narrative Foreplay. You then moved on to Narrative Interplay for the burgeoning counterculture of the late '60s in Act II, Narrative Afterplay for the early '70s in Act III, and finally, "Postmodernism Reconstructed" as your denouement. Why the sexual implications as you structured "The Hippie Narrative" in this way?
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 5 Apr 07 09:50
Hi Cynthia. A pet thesis that I have, not only for "The Hippie Narrative" but for the novel I just completed, is the idea that the hippie counterculture and the outburst of Psychedelia from 1967-1972 represent the greatest Bacchanalia that the world has ever witnessed. The best metaphor I could think of to do justice to this concept was the idea that in 1967 and '68, the United States (and many of the advanced western societies) underwent a cultural orgasm that changed those societies forever more. Though the term hippie seemed to show up overnight, this societal orgasm did not spring from a void. The Beat literary movement, the first two novels by Ken Kesey--"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Sometimes a Great Notion"-- Thomas Pynchon's "The Crying of Lot 49" and "Trout Fishing in America" all portray the cultural pressures that were leading to the upsurge of the late '60s. The works I look at in Act II coincide with the outburst itself, such as the way "Siddhartha" and "Stranger in a Strange Land" served as roadmaps for the hippies to begin deviating from core Judeo-Christian notions of spirituality, or in the case of all the "grokking" in Heinlein's Sci-Fi Classic, to experiment with the sanctity of the monogamous relationship. Also in Act II, Tom Wolfe's and Norman Mailer's breakout works of New Journalism in "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" and "The Armies of the Night" portray this cultural orgasm in an upclose manner. Wolfe's depiction of Kesey and The Merry Pranksters was more sociological, while Mailer's autobiographical novel of the four days he spent during the March on the Pentagon in 1967 was more political. Things had busted loose. Finally, in Act III, Narrative Afterplay, "Divine Right's Trip" offers the quintessential protrait of an actual hippie couple seeking to find a "constructivist" way to engage the world in the aftermath of their personal 'bacchanalia.' This Narrative Afterplay was also the beginning of how the hippie counterculture began to be absorbed by the mainstream culture, when the most positive aspects of the upheaval were assimilated, while other aspects, such as drug use, communal living, or non-monogamous sexual relations were largely rejected. My summational chapter called "Postmodernism Reconstructed" is an attempt to reconcile these observations on the literary front with the changes within the hippie counterculture. It makes a case for differentiating "postmodern culture" from the tendencies of "postmodern literary theory." There is a parallel between the deconstructivism of hippie culture during "Act II" and the deconstructivist approach formulated by Derrida and Foucault at the end of the sixties. I argue that while the hippie phenomenon evolved into a more constructivist mode, postmodernist theory remains stuck when it diminishes the constructivist role of the author in creating text. As I conclude, "The Hippie Narrative" looks to make a strong case that these structurally diverse works congregated here, should be viewed as the canon of countercultural literature.
Michael Zentner (mz) Thu 5 Apr 07 09:55
>>> 1967 and '68, the United States (and many of the advanced western societies) underwent a cultural orgasm that changed those societies forever more. Totally. You can see the right wing blowhards still fighting it 40 years later.
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 5 Apr 07 10:09
>>> You can see the right wing blowhards still fighting it 40 years later. I want to say, "right on," but that might encourage the neo-cons.
Diane Shifrin (dshif) Thu 5 Apr 07 11:49
>the idea that the hippie counterculture and the outburst of Psychedelia from 1967-1972 represent the greatest Bacchanalia that the world has ever witnessed. Fascinating. One thing I remember from Venice, CA (ca. 1971) was the impression that everyone I met had just sort of emerged, Venus style, from the sea. Where they had come from and who they might have been before was irrelevant and uninteresting information. And yes, if there's room in the canon for a Jane Austen novel about hippies, I'm the one to write it!!
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 5 Apr 07 14:48
I love this Venice image you describe. It's like in The Bacchae where the maenads leave the City-State for the mountainside. When the streams are flowing with wine and honey, who wants to rap about life in the City-State. How about "Austen City-limits" as the title of your new novel?!!? As for deciding if there is room in the canon or not, here I am just one guy standing up, drawing a big circle around a period of time, looking straight into the vortex of the counterculture and stating that I think this is the list of literary works that are the most genuine reflection of the era. For example, when I presented my MFA critical paper at the Popular Culture convention in San Diego in 2005, I remember sitting in on a different panel about the Beat writers. When a Columbia grad student--very keen on Ginsberg's poetry--said something about Ken Kesey being a Beat writer, I commented at the end that I thought he was more of a hippie writer. I watched her shake her head in disagreement. Of course, to draw this circle to establish a "hippie" narrative, I had to carefully define what I meant by the elusive term hippie, define what I considered to be literature, and argue for why each work here is a genuine reflection of the period. Kesey definitely bridged the gap between the Beats and the hippies, behaved in a turned-on, proto-hippie manner, and did not write in the more frenetic and spontaneous-seeming style of the Beats. His own experimentations were of a different tenor than that of the Beats, and in one interview, Kesey acknowleges that he knew he was plowing new ground with Great Notion. Sorry, the Beats can't have him. They can't have you either, Diane, but since there may be a more gender-sensitized hippie renaissance on the horizon, there should be room for your work!!
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Thu 5 Apr 07 18:47
Scott, from what I can gather, you are too young to have been part of the '60s counterculture, though perhaps not by a whole lot. When you and your wife took that cross-country trip in a VW bus back in 1981, it seems like you may have been trying to live the life that you didn't get to experience back in the '60s. And if so, how did it pan out? Did you find the spirit of the '60s still alive in various outposts around the country? What was your best experience on the road? What was the most disappointing thing that happened?
Robyn Touchstone (r-touchstone) Thu 5 Apr 07 20:04
Scott--returning to my earlier question, I was interested particularly in what foibles of the movement that the outsiders might have observed that hippies were unconscious of, and what specific authentic revelations were unavailable to outsiders. (Tangentially, re: Steve's earlier question, my own personal vote for the best hippie film of all time is Roger Corman's Gas-s-s-s-s. Though satiric in many ways of hippies--as well as of the establishment--it is also sympathetic to hippie aspirations and actually tackles some crucial questions as to the practical applications of the idealism of the times).
Tom Carr (tomcarr) Thu 5 Apr 07 20:23
Tom Carr here. I just got the book in the mail today and have only glanced at a little of it. In addition to getting it late, I am a slow reader. I hope this conversation goes on for a while to give me time to catch up. Briefly about me. I was born in 1950, so I was strongly influenced by all of this. I read most of the books mentioned in the Hippie Narrative. A few thoughts. I was a confused teen ager in 1968, but I pretended I knew everything. By then the Hippie thing had become a media driven mass movement. I wanted to be a hippie but had self doubts. Maybe I wasn't a real hippie but just a pseudo hippie. Like most 18 year old boys I was sexually frustrated. I thought I would have more sex if I were a hippie but I was kind of shy and growing my hair long didn't change that. The books were good but the music was the big thing. I loved the music so much. Ever since then I have been disappointed. I thought there would always be great new music, but that was the peak. The draft was very scary. One book I would add that really influenced me was "Johney Got His Gun". This was written after world war I about a guy who had his arms and legs and face blown off. He was deaf and blind and just lay and thought about how horrible war was. I read that and I really didn't want to get drafted and sent to Vietnam. Lots of us read it.
Tom Carr (tomcarr) Thu 5 Apr 07 20:29
I am reading over the the topic from the beginning so I will comment on anything that comes to mind as I read it, maybe referring to things written a few days ago until I catch up. -> one of the recurring dichotomies that I noticed between the texts -> analyzed was that of outsider/insider to the hippie movement. Remember that most hippies were teenagers. Teenagers want to belong to an in group. The hippies were the group that most of us wanted to belong to. The problem is that if everyone is a hippie it isn't an in group or cool any more. There was lots of talk about pseudo hippies and real hippies. It seems like silly pretentious teen age stuff looking back on it.
Tom Carr (tomcarr) Thu 5 Apr 07 20:31
-> what significant aspects of the hippie movement were the -> outsiders able to perceive clearly that the insiders couldn't Drugs are bad for you. Having sex with lots of different people does not lead to happiness in the long run. Most of you are teenagers doing what teenagers have always done, but you think you're different.
Tom Carr (tomcarr) Thu 5 Apr 07 20:38
-> and what aspects do you think that the outsiders just didn't get, -> if any? LSD was amazing. If you didn't do it you had no idea. The music was wonderful but the outsiders didn't like it at first. There was terrible hypocrisy in the society. For example people thought that black people would always be second class citizens and that was OK, but also thought there should be prayer in schools. The hippies were pretentious but so was mainstream society. I think the hippies saw though the hypocrisy of mainstream society.
Tom Carr (tomcarr) Thu 5 Apr 07 20:41
-> what significant aspects of the hippie movement were the -> outsiders able to perceive clearly that the insiders couldn't One more big one. They saw that we were a bunch of kids from middle class families wondering around the country pretending we were homeless vagabonds with no parents who were beyond caring about money, but that the truth was if things got bad we could always cut our hair and go home to suburbia and our parents would give us a place to stay.
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 5 Apr 07 22:12
Hi Cynthia, I was born in 55 and, yes, too young to have been in the thick of the countercultural explosion. I wouldnt say that I was trying to live the life that I didnt get to experience in the 60s, but I had older cousins from the thick of that era who helped open me to a hippie perspective. Also, when my parents split up and my mom moved us to Western Washington, attractive woman that she was, she dated men several years younger than she was. She took my sister and me to see a Jimi Hendrix concert because one of these younger guys was into Jimi and had invited her. I was 14 and a bit slack-jawed to observe all those hippies up-close and to see the drugs and smell the pot that I had been warned about. It was a rainy day on my sisters birthday, less than three months before Jimi died, the last concert in his hometown of Seattle. Also, I always thought it was cool that I shared Jimis birthday. When I was a college undergrad, I remember an anthropology professor describing my age groupthose born from 1954 to 1957as part of a transition generation, those who were shifting away from the thick of the counterculture. [Interestingly, this shift coincided with the age of those boys no longer eligible for the Draft]. One key thing that happened to me when I was 17 and 18 was the opportunity to live in Sweden as an exchange student. The Selective Service draft was no longer in place in 1973-74, but the Vietnam War was still winding down. Sweden, which harbored many draft dodgers, was very much opposed to the US involvement in Vietnam. Being an American in Sweden at this time was not highly popular. I think the experience sensitized me to the fact that there was nothing sacrosanct about American foreign policy. Also, as I mentioned, my ex-wife was/is a talented pen & ink artist. There is a common assumption that it was the drugs that killed the hippie movement. More significant was the need to make a living. This required, for most hippies applying for a job, the need for a haircut and to engage the establishment on its terms. However, the artisan class, which even in the feudal times was small but uniquely positioned as a class, was the one place, other than the drug culture, where the hippie could live an alternative life more on his or her own terms. With my wifes artwork, which she started selling at those hippiesque arts and craft street fairs when she was fourteen years old, we had a form of currency to sustain ourselves on the road. I was the salesman. Also, I mentioned living with our friends, Roger and Celeste, when I was still in college and our sons were babies. In the true participant/observer role of a field anthropologist, at the end of the 70s, I grew fascinated with this lingering hippie culture that was as strong in the Pacific Northwest as anywhere. We would go to rural barter fairs in Western Washington and in the Okanogan, we were into The Dead, got to know the Love Family commune and Rogers and Celestes friends in Marblemount when they moved back there from our shared house in Seattle. That house was next to the Twin Teepees Restaurant, that cool roadside icon from the 30s on Highway 99 next to Green Lake. In 1979 when I graduated, the pre-Microsoft Seattle economy was in a recession. There were few jobs, so we gravitated more and more to that bohemian artisan, late-hippie lifestyle. More
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 5 Apr 07 22:42
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 5 Apr 07 23:15
>> Cynthia: Did you find the spirit of the '60s still alive in various outposts around the country? What was your best experience on the road? In 1981, when we left the Pacific Northwest on our cross-country bus trip, the spirit of the '60s was very much alive in various outposts around the country. My wife and I knew that with my son out of diapers and not yet in school, this would be a good time to adventure across America. She always had this strong desire to travel, so as one of our rough destination points, we placed New Orleans and Mardi Gras on our destination list. Maybe one of the diehard Deadheads in The Well can help me out, but there is this great quote attributed to the Grateful Dead that says something to the effect that "the magic happens, the closer you get to the edge." That year we spent on the road was actually rather charmed. I sold matted pen & ink prints from California to Arizona, through New Mexico, into Texas, doing especially well convincing people that these little works of art would make fine Christmas presents. Specifically, I remember in Arizona when we were looking for an inauspicious place to park our VW Bus for the night, I made the mistake of turning up a steep dirt road in Prescott. We heard the muffler bottom out. When I crawled under the VW transporter to inspect, I thought I felt something drop on my face, but I wasn't sure. We took the VW bus to the nearest auto repair place and had the mechanic weld the muffler back into place. That night my eye started to hurt. I wondered whether this was because of debris or because I had looked into the arc welder. The next couple of days we ventured to northeastern Arizona to the Navaho and Hopi Reservations. My eye started to hurt worse, but I was afraid to go to just any old doctor to have him munge around my pupil. I bought a pair of really dark sunglasses to protect my eye because the light was causing it to throb. After about the fourth day, I woke up in the morning, looked in the rearview mirror and saw that dead-center in my pupil, a shard had caused a touch of infection to develop. This was no arc-welder problem. We took the bus and headed toward the first inhabited town. I needed to find any physician, even though I didn't like the idea of this. The closest place to the magnificent Canyon de Chelle where we were, and that I couldn't quite enjoy because of the throbbing, was the nearby village of Ganado with a population of 1500, 90% of whom were Navajo Indians. With low expectations and my eye throbbing, we pulled into the really small rez village at about 9 a.m. I had my eyes peeled for a Doctor's office, but when we looked over at the far end of a parking lot near the center of Ganado, we noticed a motor home with a line of Indians standing in front. On the side of the motor home was written: "Arizona State Traveling Opthamology Unit." I was allowed at the front of the line and they plucked that nasty shard from the very center of my pupil. more...
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 5 Apr 07 23:53
>> What was the most disappointing thing that happened? During that year we were on the road, we found ourselves in New Orleans in January 1982. The Christmas selling season for pen & ink prints was over, so we hunkered down by renting a room in Toad's Inn at the edge of the French Quarter. We parked our VW Bus down the street at the edge of the market made famous by the Stone's song, "Brown Sugar." In our bus we would use our kitchenette to eat. That propane stove and pressure cooker were a mainstay where we steamed many chickens with rice. Toad's Inn was coarse, but Joe and Suzie, the managers were pretty nice. Across the hall, even Danny, the devil worshipper, was respectful of us. A few weeks later, before Mardi Gras, the cops came and took Danny away. His girlfriend, whom we had seen lurking at on the side streets of the French Quarter, was found drowned in the Mississippi River. Two days later, the cops let Danny go. He came back to Toad's Inn with his face black and blue. He didn't say anything, but seemed guilty to us. With his room right across the hall, I remember sleeping with a frying pan under my pillow. If the MF tried anything, I had every intention of bludgeoning him. As for Mardi Gras, at one point we recognized Wandering Willie, a hippie we remembered from the '81 Rainbow Gathering in Usk, Washington before we had left. Willie's routine was to hold a cigarette butt in the air and urge people to join his campaign. He wanted to fill a caravan of dump trucks full of these butts and dump them in downtown Winston-Salem, N.C. Anyway, we let Willie sleep in our bus, and Willie set us up in a country/western bar on Bourbon street to paint faces for Mardi Gras. Before Mardi Gras on Valentine's Day in Jackson Park at exactly noon, we watched a witch marry Woodstock and Teresa. Yes, the spirit of the '60s was still alive. That first Mardi Gras we made about a thousand dollars for three days work. Like I said, that year on the road was all but charmed. After a few months in Knoxville that spring and summer where I got a laborer's job helping build a Geodescic Dome for the 1982 World's Fair (you've got to be there), we decided to try our luck in NYC. In New York in the Fall, I landed my first "real" job at age 26. However, that winter, the president of the company in California decided to lay off everyone for a week. That week happened to coincide with Mardi Gras of 1983. By that point we had rent to pay and Montessori bills for our son, so we elected to fly back to New Orleans. Our friends from Toad's Inn invited us to stay with them. Joe was then working at Tulane University in the boiler room and they had an apartment in the dorms. That year we made a couple grand painting faces at that same C/W bar. Suzie helped babysit our son the way she had done the year before. On the last night of Mardi Gras we invited Joe and Suzie to dinner to thank them for their help. Oddly, they excused themselves early. When we went back to their apartment at the Dorm, they had ripped us off of the two grand. That wasn't exactly on the road, but this betrayal and violation of trust was the worst thing we experienced during that period. It felt like the end of our innocence.
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Fri 6 Apr 07 00:24
>> what foibles of the movement that the outsiders might have observed that hippies were unconscious of, and what specific authentic revelations were unavailable to outsiders. Hi Robyn, I think the foibles of youth are such that older people or outsiders can see a level of naivete that the youngsters cannot. The alternative society was never able to fully substitute for the many institutional mechanisms of mainstream society that were functioning effectively. Personally, as someone on the young end of the hippie spectrum, I probably have a higher-than-typical respect for my slightly older kindred spirits. Also, I think that the establishment, or older generation of the time, truly needed to be curtailed and admonished for many of its excessive modern policies and actions. The counterculture represented a rare time when the youth had seized, quite rightfully, the moral imperative of the time by asserting themselves against a pathetically conceived war in Vietnam, and against corporate practices that legitimately needed curtailing. Again, the revelations articulated by these idealistic and collectivist youth that the outsiders couldn't grasp was one of a raised consciousness, an expanded sensitivity or enlightenment to how humans might better embrace a peace and love ethos. The sincere hippies, though human foibles interfered, were trying in earnest to live out this alternative ethos. Did these young people succeed in manifesting this lofty dream. No. However, in so many ways they came close. And in so many ways, this was an era where the kids, for that ever-so-brief moment, showed the elders that a higher path might be possible.
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