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Tue

15

May

2007

The Non-History Channel Butchers 'The Hippies'
Tuesday, 15 May 2007 10:53
by Burton H. Wolfe

Once in awhile I indulge myself in a bit of masochism by tuning in to the Non-History Channel, my designation for the alleged "History Channel," to see how badly the producers of its egregious inaccuracies and downright falsehoods are distorting true history. Last night (Sunday, May 13, 2007) I was "rewarded" with a two-hour farce called "The Hippies" that excluded the definitive book on the subject and identified anyone and everyone as "hippies" except the individuals who formulated the social and philosophical basis for the "movement" that quickly deteriorated into drugs, not only sexual promiscuity but also mindless promiscuity, filth, disease, madness, and crime.

The definitive book on the subject was and remains my book The Hippies (New American Library, 1968). It was used in college and university sociology, history, and civics classes across the nation as the source of study of the late 1960's "movement" (if it can be called a movement) consisting of a variety of individuals lumped together under a term that soon became undefinable: "hippies." My study was first hand. I was in the center of the subject, the Haight-Ashbury, mingling with the Diggers, the communal groups, the Grateful Dead, the organizers of the free places, and the gurus. I was not one of the pedants used as analysts by the Non-History Channel to rattle on with their talk from their Ivory Towers about what purportedly happened. I did wind up my book, as I was duty bound to wind it up, with descriptions of the degradation that occurred. But I began with the communalistic, anti-capitalistic, utopian philosophy of the movers who genuinely wanted to change the world, but who wound up organizing a march along Haight Street in San Francisco to commemorate "the death of the hippie movement" they started because they were so disgusted with the outcome they could not have envisioned.

If you are going to do a balanced job of reporting, you have to present that first part of the picture. With mostly no coverage of it, and just the barest fleeting mention of part of it, the producers of the Sunday night farce filled their two-hour butchery with tales of drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, violence, and crime. Thus, as usual, what viewers were given was a one-sided picture that wound up as a distortion of history. And what could be expected if you are going to use, as one of your key analysts, the editor of that periodical of conformist, fascistic thought, The National Review?

THE KEN KESEY/MERRY PRANKSTERS BUS


Perhaps the most preposterous and insidious aspect of the Non-History farce was the identification, as "hippies" of some sort, the following personages: Aleister Crowley; Anton Szandor LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan; Charles Manson; the Beatles; former Marxist turned capitalist Jerry Rubin; "Free Speech" leader Mario Savio; weekday white collar businessmen dressed for the weekend as cowboys and Indians, and weekday society women dressed for the weekend in Victorian garb, for the purpose of partying; etc. etc. etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

Equally disgusting was the manner in which the producers dealt with Ken Kesey. You would never know from their broadcast that behind what Kesey did to prank America was a deeply thought philosophy. The Non-History Channel producers presented him as a worker in a lab where he was able to obtain and experiment with so-called psychedelic drugs and who then threw drug parties to make money. It was enough to make anybody who knew Kesey, as I did, vomit onto the television screen.

The narrator of the farce, by the way, is an actor who had a comprehensive view of what actually took place in the Haight-Ashbury, since he was there, but who prostituted himself for a hefty fee paid to him by the mind whores of the Non-History Channel: Peter Coyote. I believe it was Henry Adams (and if not I am sure a reader will correct me) who observed that humanity is full of treachery and deceit, so that "one can trust no one and nothing."
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Comments (4)add comment

Ada drug rehab said:

0
I saw that....
I think i saw too, randomly, all this at TV... but i didn't had the right mood and the patience to watch all those stupidities. After of 5-1 minutes of watching, i found on another channel that commercials can be more interesting...
Ada Wakeman drug rehab
 
November 22, 2007
Votes: +0

Tim said:

0
history
I don’t know how commercials could be more interesting than a piece of history, Ada?! This simply means you are an ignorant… I am sorry to say that, but you should realize that that was a period when world really changed and it’s not a period that talks only about drugs or drug rehab centers… it talks about music, literature, life style… and many other things.
 
May 09, 2008
Votes: -1

Bernie said:

0
History is written by...???
'History Channel - The Hippies'
As a current 60 year old who lived through that era and having watched this '...words cannot describe..' I will never again take seriously what I see on that misnomered 'History Channel'. To take the 1% flawed and represent it as the 100% representation of the era is not flawed, but criminal.
The 'History Channel' is just another representative of a corrupt system intent on rewriting history to suit the insane agenda of our times.
 
December 30, 2008
Votes: +2

Jim said:

0
Apt description of times
I saw this honest documentary and thought it didn't go far enough in describing the debauchery the hippies tried to take mainstream. Theirs was a failed revolution and I can't wait until this period is thrown into the dustbin of history. Die Hippie Die!
 
April 10, 2010
Votes: -2

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