Hippie

Culture
Life in America has been molded by many factors including those of the
hippie movement in the Sixties. With the development of new technology, a war
against Communism, and an internal war against racial injustice, a change in

America was sure to happen. As the children of the baby boom became young
adults, they found far more discontent with the world around them. This lead to
a subculture labeled as hippies, that as time went one merged into a mass
society all its own. These people were upset about a war in Vietnam, skeptical
of the present government and its associated authority, and searching for a
place to free themselves from societyís current norms, bringing the style they
are known for today. "Eve of destruction; no satisfaction...and a third motif
went rippling through the baby-boom culture: adhesive love" (Gitlin 200). The
freedom they found came with the help of drugs. Marijuana evolved from its"black and Hispanic, jazz-minded enclaves to the outlying zones of the white
middle class young" (Gitlin 200). This new drug allowed a person to open their
mind to new understandings and philosophies. But it wasnít just marijuana that
opened the minds of the youth; a new drug known as LSD came into existence:

Depending on who was doing the talking, [LSD] is an intellectual tool to explore
psychic Ďinner space,í a new source of kicks for thrill seekers, the
sacramental substance of a far-out mystical movement- or the latest and most
frightening addiction to the list of mind drugs now available in the pill
society being fashioned by pharmacology (Clark 59). With politicians and law
enforcement officers looking on the drug as a danger to society, many expert
chemists "set up underground laboratories and fabricated potent and pure

LSD...kept their prices down, gave out plenty of free samples, and fancied
themselves dispensers of miracles at the service of a new age" (Gitlin 214).

It wasnít just the youth in America who was using these drugs. A statistic
from 1967 states that "more American troops in Vietnam were arrested for
smoking marijuana than for any other major crime" (Steinbeck 97). The amazing
statistic wasnít the amount of soldiers smoking marijuana; it was the amount
of soldiers America was sending over to fight a war that nobody understood.

Between 1965 and 1967, troops "doubled and redoubled and redoubled twice
more" (Gitlin 261). In a letter to President Johnson sent by student leaders
from 100 American colleges and universities and published in Time, this problem
was addressed: Significant and growing numbers of our contemporaries are deeply
troubled about the posture of their Government in Viet Nam. Even more are
torn-by reluctance to participate in a war whose toll keeps escalating, but
about whose purpose and value to the U.S. they remain unclear. With the fear of
being sent to Vietnam, many potential draftees looked for a place to run. Some
went to Mexico, some went to Europe, some went to Canada, and some just burnt
their draft-cards to resist the draft. For those who went to Canada, they
received assistance from the Committee to Aid American War Objectors. The
committee helped the young immigrants with advice and aid on the Canadian
immigration laws. For those who didnít flee, life was full of harassment from
the Government. Popular music and literature help display this message of
repression. Jimi Hendrix released a song titled "If 6 was 9" that described
his oppression: "White collared conservative flashing down the street/Pointing
their plastic finger at me/Theyíre hoping soon my kind will drop and die...Go
on Mr. business man/You canít dress like me." During Woodstock, the music
festival in í69, Country Joe and the Fish sang lyrics that were both comical
and intense: "What are we fighting for?/Donít ask me, I donít give a
damn/Next stop is Vietnam...Whoopee weíre all gonna die." Jerry Rubin
illustrated his anger in the government, in the book he wrote while spending
time in jail. We Are Everywhere describes Rubinís hatred towards all authority
admitting, "heroin is the governmentsí most powerful counter-revolutionary
agent, a form of germ warfare. Since they canít get us back into their system,
they try to destroy us through heroin" (118). This repression of the elder
generation sent the youth to accepting communities, particularly out west. Most
of the people leaving their homes came from working-class families whose parents
and communities had driven them out for simply for supporting the civil rights
movement. Being alienated from their towns and considered communists, they found
it easy to side with the anti-war movement. It was also easy for them to
discover drugs and