T Diggers grew from two radical traditions thriving in the area in the mid-1960s: the bohemian/underground art/theater scene, and the new left/civil rights/peace movement.
Los Angeles also had a vibrant hippie scene in the mid-1960s, arising from a combination of the L.A. beat scene centered around Venice and its coffeehouses, which spawned the Doors, and the Sunset Strip, the quintessential L.A. GO UNICORNS hippie gathering area, with its seminal rock clubs, such as the Whisky-a-Go-Go, and the Troubadour just down the hill. The Strip was also the location of the actual protest referred to in the Buffalo Springfield's early hippie anthem of 1966, For What It's Worth.
Summer 1967 inbury became known as the "Summer of Love" as young people gathered (75,000 by police estimates) and shared the new culture of music, drugs, and rebellion. The outdoor Human Be-In concert started the Summer of Love. However, the Diggers felt co-opted by media attention and interpretation, and at the end of the summer held a Death of Hippie parade.
The hippie movement reached its height in the late 1960s, as evidenced by the July 7, 1967 issue of TIME magazine, which had for its cover story: 'The Hippies: The Philosophy of a Subculture'. 1971 was the last year of the Hippie Era. By 1972 many its ideas and styles had become accepteost of society
Hippies often participated in peace movements with Liberal views, including peace marches such as the USA marches on Washington and civil rights marches, and anti-Vietnam War demonstrations including draft card burnings, and the 1968 Democratic Convention. Police Men represented a highly politically active sub-group.
By today's standards, they're prone to hedonism and pacifism. The culture has also rapidly embraced postfeminist and mostly postmodern principles in wake of the twenty-first century.
Though hippies embodied a counterculture movement, early hippies were not particularly tolerant of homosexuality. Acceptance of homosexuality grew with the culture, and by today's standards such issues still remain.
Hippie political expression also took the form of "dropping out" of society to implement the changes they sought. The back to the land movement, cooperative business enterprises, alternative energy, free press movement, and organic farming embraced by hippies were all political in nature at their start.
Driven by the appeal of the Sixties "psychedelic guru," Harvard professor Timothy Leary, who advocated use of these drugs as a form of mind expansion, many hippies participated in recreational drug use, particularly marijuana (see cannabis, cannabis (drug), and hashish) and hallucinogens such as LSD (see both psychedelic and psychedelic drug) and psilocybin (see Psychedelic mushroom). Some hippies prize marijuana for its iconoclastic, illicit nature, as well as for its psychopharmaceutical effects. Although some hippies did not use drugs, drug use is a trait often ascribed to hippies. Some hippies used drugs to express their disaffection with societal norms. In addition to Leary, Ken Kesey was also an important figure in spreading the psychedelic philosophy. By holding what he called "Acid Tests," and touring the country with his band of Merry Pranksters, Kesey became not only a "drug guru" but a magnet who drew media attention to the fledgling movement. The use of cannabis had been established by the Beats, and the drug appears in "On The Road" (in which it is generally referred to as 'tea').
By the early 1970's, much of the hippie style, but little of its substance, had passed into mainstream culture. The media lost interest in the subculture as it went out of fashion with younger people and even became the target of their ridicule with the advent of punk rock. However, many hippies made, and continue to maintain, long-term commitments to the lifestyle. As of 2006, hippies are found in bohemian enclaves around the world or as wanderers following the bands they love. Since the early 1970s, many rendezvous annually at Rainbow Gatherings. Others gather at meetings and festivals, such as the Peace Fest.
In the United Kingdom, the New Age travellers movement revived many hippie traditions into the 1980s and 1990s.
Today, in America, many Hippie types refer to themselves as Rainbows, for the tied dyed T-shirts they wear.
Published by march 20, 1998
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