Love Or Hate : The Hippies

Hippies. The word seems to provoke people one way or the other. There are so many comments on my channel regarding people who "hate" hippies although mostly, what they are talking about, isn't about hippies at all. The hippies my team found when we were making our television series on the 1960s for primetime PBS (it aired on TV in 1991) were not political. They avoided politics. They also avoided for the most part cities. They were part of the counterculture. They mostly lived in the countryside. They provoked a national interest in organic food etc. Smoked dope for sure. Did a lot of other strange things and probably for the most part had loose free sex relationships. But they weren't the ones who for example, spit at returning Vietnam soldiers at the various airports of the United States. A very small group of political radicals did that who were aggressive and sometimes violent. Hippies had philosophies which many just went along with but some created. Aggressive behavior was disapproved of even if only spoken. Hippie clothing was unique. Fabrics were "natural". Art was very flowery some of the time. Travel through America and traveling the world to other hippie centers was a part of life. When the city got too hard, you went to the countryside. There were many hippie behaviors based on values and ethics and then repeated by people who wanted to be part of the community. Was it a cult? Some of the time. Was it a movement? Some of the time. Was it just teenagers not wanting to grow up – having a good time – living off the land or off mommy and daddy's money? Some of the time. I interviewed many hippies or as some of them call themselves "x hippies" for my television series and for other films that I have made and most like that they were part of that generation and that movement. Some became practicing born-again Christians. Some became farmers. Some became stockbrokers and businessmen. Some teachers and social workers. To categorize their actions after the 60s as any one thing is incorrect (such as that they are all greedy business people today).

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