Skip to main content

tv   Lectures in History 1950s 60s Counterculture  CSPAN  August 29, 2019 10:06pm-11:06pm EDT

10:06 pm
lectures in history, a discussion about abraham lincoln and native americans. sunday, at 4:00, on real america, the 1950 army film invasion of southern france. and monday, labor day, at 8:00 eastern, the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of virginia's first general assembly. held at jamestown. explore the nation's passed on american history tv , every weekend on c-span 3. lectures in history series continues now with a look at the counterculture movement of the 1950s and 1960s in america. we heard about the literature, closing, music and worldview of the beatniks of the 50s and hippies of the 60s as well as the spread of drugs in hippie culture. this class is about 55 minutes. so today we're gonna talk about the counterculture which in many ways people have
10:07 pm
associated with the 1960s is one of the major aspects of the 1960s. one could say that of the decade of the 60s, radical politics clearly failed and faded away and social change bumped up against what you might call certain limitations. it is true that race relations changed and official white supremacy legal segregation disappeared. and america became more tolerant but race did not disappear, as a fact in american life which many liberals in the 1950s and 60s had thought that it would or hoped that it would. gender relations also changed and women assumed new responsibilities, new roles chicks are but men came to realize the differences between men and women had not been repealed by simply declaring that women and men were equal. women and men do not necessarily see the sea same things the same way. the greatest change that took place
10:08 pm
during and after the 60s were cultural changes. a lot of those changes have to do with the counterculture. the word counterculture was invented by sociologist and it means an opposite culture, a culture opposite of mainstream culture. unlike the political and social challenges, the cultural challenges tended to stick. americans really did change cultural values and cultural practices. in the 70s and 80s and beyond, not so much in the 60. the counterculture of the 60s is beginning a long- term movement. the counterculture of the 1960s begins with political change, pumped up political change in that field and then social change which also takes place in terms of race and gender but doesn't entirely succeed. cultural change however is really what is the legacy of the 60s and the counterculture had a lot to do with that. is sociologist defined and created word counterculture
10:09 pm
and created it to describe a culture that was opposite mainstream culture. that everyone of course adopted the same ideas come up but enough people over time in the 70s and 80s and 90s, came to adopt new ideas in this is so the whole culture could be said to have changed as a result. so i will talk about that whole process. the legacy of the 60s you might say. i want to stop by going back to the beats. the first postwar critics of american society and culture had of course been the beats of. they were criticizing american in the aftermath of world war ii. the beats had wanted to greater revelation and expectation, the beats, the original beat writers, jack kerouac and ginsburg and difference, live that american society was very repressive, especially sexually repressive. in advocating hedonism they were partly trying to make face for their own self- indulgence, especially homosexual self- indulgence. but
10:10 pm
when the beats became celebrities in the late 1950s, traditional american culture was for and serve itself, it was one of those cultural moments where the traditional values were under attack and traditionalists were not really very defensive about the traditional practices, they were uncomfortable. there is no beats had been a small number of writers and their friends. and the followers of the beats in the late 50s, aftercare working ginsburg became very popular and 2 wicks sold millions of copies of on the road, then followers of the beats were clearly a different generation. because whereas the beats experience world war ii, veterans of the world or people who came of age right after the war, the people who came of age in light late 1950s were clear different generation having been born during the war or even perhaps slightly after the war. this new group became known as beatniks. the beats, the beatniks dressed in secondhand clothes, wear a lot of black clothing, expressed
10:11 pm
the depressed view of life, everything is rotten, everything's hopeless. wild and despair, voluntary homelessness was an example and joblessness, jobs are terrible an idea. many lived in york city in greenwich village or in san francisco and north beach which became kind of the tube beatnik hangout in the united states. tourists flock to those district in order to see real live beatniks. this was actually what people did, they went to gach and look at people. people are always looking at people one way or another. some of the more amusing things in the late 50s, there were local suburbanites who would dress up like beatniks on the weekends and going to greenwich village or into north beach and pretend to be a beatnik. you course you could always tell they were not dressed quite right, didn't quite have the right here. the real beatnik would have but they could party in the beatnik bars in the
10:12 pm
village were and north beach. they were sometimes refers to as weekend beatniks. because of the way they did this. they may of course have real jobs, you could tell the real beatnik man from a weekend beatnik easily because real beatnik men had long hair and beards. that was proved in the 1950s that you did not have a regular job. because and no employer would hire anybody with a beard or with long hair and you would be fired if you had a beard or long- haired. so this is how writers of course an artist could separate themselves as they were self- employed. unless you are self- employed you really could not do this. you didn't see many beards as a result of course. real beatnik women were there however along as well. beatniks both men and women wore sandals made out of old rubber tires that came from mexico. they they were very cheap, really cheap, about $.29 for a pair of sandals. they did not take many showers, they
10:13 pm
thought the odorant was a capless plot. deodorant maybe it is a plot, who knows . beatniks were so exciting for some of the avant-garde in new york city that you could actually rent a beatnik and i'm not making this up. the advertisements appeared in the village voice, it's the counterculture newspaper in new york. and you could rent a beatnik and dial- up and for your very upscale party on 5th avenue in your fancy apartment, your cof or whatever you could have up long- haired, bearded beatnik come to the party and be the center of attention. very strange i think. but it was actually going on in the late 50s. the beatniks like the beats like just and read poetry aloud and indeed it was the beatniks in san francisco more or less invented
10:14 pm
reading portrayal out.he outlined, a new idea. they read a lot of odd books that were carried in beat or beatnik bookstores. particularly the eighth street bookshop in greenwich village and selling galleys in san francisco in north beach and san francisco. serengeti was a poet as well as a bookstore owner. you could buy radical political books were self printed poetry books or foreign-language publications in these stores. many of the books that were sold in the stores, mostly were in paperback which is also a new idea. most books that were published in the by the states were not published in paperback in the late 1950s, they were very unusual and very rare. bookstores did not like to sell them because it didn't make as much profit as they did on the hardbacks. simple is that. and so here is a new idea that was spreading of the paperback book, much cheaper and therefore easier and easier to carry around too.
10:15 pm
so that is one change going on. that the same time, just to show the beats were not the only source of what the counterculture was, there is also the op at guard. the avant-garde is a strong small group of people who challenge again challenge mainstream culture but not from a beatnik interview, from a different angle of vision. one of the examples of the early angle in new york and actually are julian and malvina back who open the living theater in new york in 1951. and it's important that is that early. the decks were and the purpose of theater was to jar the audience and get them to step outside of their mainstream cultural values. and maybe embrace anarchism but just challenge the cultural norms of the 1950s. they performed only radical new plays in small spaces.
10:16 pm
they were cheap to rent and had very few props, no scenery ever. there your company attempted to engage the audience in the event. although there 30 of theater was actually quite different, quite radical. the separation between the audience and the performance was to be minimized and indeed reduced to nothing if at all possible. theater was not performed by actors, for the audience, rather the actors were supposed to push the audience past the limits that had been set by traditional culture which was obsessed with setting limits , especially for public performances. so when can see, there's one of the plays that they managed to film, one of the later plays in 1963, which is called the brig twitter which is set inside a u.s. marine corps prison. although i think the hidden subtext of the play actually
10:17 pm
is the german concentration camps if you look at the play, you can see the video, it's available if you want to watch it. if you can stand to watch a. it's one thing to watch it however on television instead of home it's another thing to have been in the live performance, it must have been quite excruciating to see this going on three feet away from you. with the audience, this is the question, the brig asked with the audience identified with the guard or with the abuse prisoners. who spent the entire time of the performance of the play, which has no intermission of course being abused by the guard to. or with the audience perhaps end up sympathizing a little bit with each? that very question would challenge the audience. and where you stand are you standing with authority, the guard? or are used in the with the victims of authority, the prisoners? a good question to ask, especially if you're an
10:18 pm
anarchist. or what would happen and another play you know the becks decided they would challenge questions about nudity, what if the actors performed in the nude? that would be a shocking idea in the 1950s, also would be illegal. and indeed what would the new york city police to, they stop the performance and arrest the actors? would they actually arrest the audience members as well for being at a nude performance? this could be challenging and this would be sort of interesting and if you're member of the audience and not be a little bit nervous of being arrested and having her name of the new york times the next day. there's a lot going on in these performances. all during the 50s, the living theater provoked its audiences which were partly composed of other avant-garde artists , partly composed of beatniks, although they rarely had money for tickets so they often had to get tickets given to them by somebody else. and partly composed of respectable middle-class people who were board with
10:19 pm
this dodgy nest of american culture and maybe especially turned off by the sitcoms on tv. another change that went on at the time is performance art. the redefinition of art. art had traditionally been thought of as perhaps painting or sculpture, but it was or photography, but it was something the artist did and then presented to the audience as a finished product. but in performance art, there's an action that takes place and the action is the art. so the art takes place in front of the audience and involve the audience. you can see the relationship between the living theater and performance art, it was connected together. in the 1950s, the avant-garde poet and classical music composer ned rohrer wrote a four minute piece in which the
10:20 pm
performers did not play not a single note. this was certainly taking music to the ultimate absurdity? what? the performance on the stage and they sit there with their instruments and do absolutely nothing for four minutes. it was a very interesting score. the performance had to keep turning the pages of the score, the only thing they do, never make a sound. the audience of course at the first performance was not in on the joke. or of course after the first performance will not know what's going on. as the musicians were sitting on the stage turning the pages, motionless, the audience was becoming increasingly restive and uncomfortable and wondering what's going on and am i missing something? there were whispers and then wheezes and finally coughs and of course that is the music. the music is the audience making all of the sounds gasping sounds and whispering.
10:21 pm
that is the music. that is the performance, the programs has been shifted from the stage to the actual audience. that's what he was trying to do. that was his purpose in this. you will notice that every time the plays are the musical pieces performed for a different audience, it will have a different result, right? so no to performance of love or be exactly the same and that is also part of what he was trying to achieve. the performers in other words were only catalyst that were designed to bring the audience together as an audience, as a group in the session where this was taking place. he went on to collaborate in other performance art pieces later on with the avant- garde, where he actually did compose real music. with the avant- garde artist robert rauschenberg, he later became a famous artist of the period. robert russian back might paint spontaneous paintings on the stage using rohrer
10:22 pm
and some background musical for motivation so you had the intersection of music and visual art going on by having a musical composer having compose music that would stimulate and fire the production of the artwork. so rauschenberg would try to put on the canvas the feelings that he felt were being conveyed by listening to rooms music back listening at that moment. so performance i could be even more interactive. what if the actors arrive to nude or given the fact that didn't want to be arrested by new york city police, semi nude and rolled on the floor and heaps of embracing buddies. what does this convey about people? what does this mean or perhaps saying something about the oneness of humanity? or maybe it is the people rolling around the floor.
10:23 pm
what if the audience is then invited to join in the rolling on the floor? what does that going to do? the members of the artist, the audience members have to make a decision at that point don't they? are they a separate audience watching what's going on are they participants in the process and how much participation participation do they want to have? do they want to engage in or not? so this is real again it shifting everything onto the audience away from the performance. what if the floor had been covered in butcher paper and then viewed with fresh paint so the rolling bodies on the floor but then covered with paint and what of the rolling bodies then covered with this wet paint then began rolling more and began to randomly paint the butcher paper by moving around? the resultant painting or painted paper might at the end of the performance be cut up into one foot squares and passed out to members of the of to take home. you thought you were going to
10:24 pm
performance and you end up with the painting to take him. very weird, very weird. so this is the kind of stuff that is going a particular new york and greenwich village. without the leading performance artists in greenwich village was yoko ono. of course she was better known later as marrying john lennon of the beatles. but yoko on a station of at guard performance in her loft in new york in 1961, she was as creative avant-garde as what she was before she married a creative avant- garde musician, and john lennon. she had the entire apartment fixed with a floor set at a 30 degree angle. that's really stick. 30 degrees, that's about as deep as you can get and actually still walk on it. it depends on where you got slippery shoes are not. she then invited new york's leading of at guard dancer to stanch a dance
10:25 pm
on this steeply sloped floor and of course they didn't know this, they knew they were coming to her loft and to dance but that she didn't tell them about the floor except they found out when they got there. the dancers had never encountered such a floor before . and their attempt to perform at this angle revealed all sorts of interesting things to them about their own bodies. their psychological state, they were afraid of falling and it shows. the dancers would normally perhaps have a little fear falling but they're so practiced in their routines and disciplines to overcome that so the audience never sees that. in this situation the audience who also had deuce stand on the steep slope would be saying this is will. it also revealed something about the will of the performer. people really were you know they had a strong enough will they could do it but if they gave up, they would just end up sliding down the floor toward the end of the room. where they would end up.
10:26 pm
as the performance continued the audience could see and the performance came to realize that they had gradually adjusted their movements and their plans according to the sloped floor. so the sloped floor actually was causing people to behave differently. it was a physical fact and it was interfering with the production and interfering with the assumptions of what people could or could not do. human beings in other words had to adapt and that of course was yoko ono's whole point. that was the whole point of the evening was to get everyone who laughed and performers alike to realize that human beings needed to adapt. they needed to change. they needed to change the way the thought about things and change the way they behaved in the world. yoko ono had grown up in tokyo and she had lived in this very traditional and repressed japanese culture which was especially unfavorable to
10:27 pm
bright, talented young women like her. there was very little of the role she could imagine for herself in tokyo. she could bury some banker or something like that but that was about it. she certainly could not be a performing artist of any kind, and retain the class status that she had. so she ended up in york city because she found it much freer than tokyo. she still of course criticize the culture in the united states for being rigid and repressive as well but she recognized it was not nearly as rigid and repressive as the culture in japan. she wanted everyone to understand that cultural change was hard after all she had to undergo undergo the cultural change of being a japanese woman to being in america and those a big change for her. she was now trying to pass that information on to her performance art in new york city and open the eyes of the people so that
10:28 pm
they could see that they too could make changes in their own lives. and all of this avant-garde art is about making or changing yourself ultimately. the performance or stimulating the audience to change themselves. one of the most interesting examples of all this comes from the the justin dance company. in 1963. it was founded in the basement of an avant-garde baptist church, if you can imagine that. there was an avant- garde baptist church in greenwich village. it was a church that was originally founded to help sailors that came into the port of new york but it had become an avant- garde church in the 1950s. the judson dance company practiced and performed in the basement of the church. they developed what really became modern dance. while background music might provide some sense of rhythm or timing,
10:29 pm
the emphasis of modern dance was on the celebration of the human body. dancers were tight fitting clothing to emphasize physicality in dance motions were tightly controlled and quite athletic. i sometimes think if you see you know dancing with the stars on television you were seeing you know this is where it ended up with commercialization of course that that is the kind of dance the judson dance company was doing in 1963. sometimes the dancers seemed more like gymnastics and dance. still, there are many romantic or sexually suggestive aspects to the judson dance company's performance is. they celebrated sexual this part of the celebration of the body. this of course contrasted with traditional middle- class american values which held that sex was never to be discussed in public and certainly not in audience is composed of both men and women. and sex was best left for the privacy of the
10:30 pm
bedroom. not not the mainstream culture of the 50s. by the end of the 1960s, the celebration of the body would take on much more open form than having a dance company in the basement of a church building in greenwich village. there would be two major broadway plays that included previously prohibited on stage nudity. the first of these, oh, calcutta cup had an exceptionally long run and every night the entire cast would disrobe for one thing. audiences that is local new yorkers kept bringing back out-of-town relatives to shock them. and oh calcutta could not have been put on in st. louis or boston or other more conservative parts of united states. it simply would not have been allowed but by the late 60s you could do this in new york city and the police did not arrest the cast. the other plate that was perhaps
10:31 pm
more famous and certainly more identified with the counterculture is hair. here was about a mindless long- haired hippie who was drafted and then sent to vietnam and killed. here also had one brief nude scene that was celebrated so it participated in its new celebration of the body which is part of the whole hippie consciousness. you will notice that i did not entitle the entire hippie hippie counterculture because that includes hippies but that they're not the entire counterculture and that's the point. now were on to hippies. the counterculture is most commonly identified with the word hippie. certainly there is a certain truth in that the counterculture is a set is broader than that in includes many people who are not or would not have been identified as hippies. included the needs and avant-garde. the beat part poet gary snyder put the matter about the
10:32 pm
hippies succinct lee when he wrote quote hippies were living out the philosophy that the beats proclaimed so that's how snyder saw the connection between the two. what was the relationship between beats and hippies? first, there's a major age difference. the beats had been in their 20s during world war ii. hippies had been in the 20s in about 1960. the hippies were being born in 1945 or 1948. somewhere in there. hippies were young enough to have been the children of the beats if the beats had had any children which is not very likely. the beats were despairing veterans of the great depression and world war ii, the holocaust and the atomic age. the hippies were the optimistic children of the baby boom generation and the rising affluence of the postwar consumer boom. and that's a lot about the difference between the two groups, the fact that the one had had been raised amid the poverty and despair of the depression and the fear of world war ii and the other had been raised in
10:33 pm
the first post world. however there is a matter of numbers. the numbers actually turned out to matter a lot. original beats had been i don't know a few dozen people. i mean a tiny number. even when the more numerous effects had joined the movement in the late 50s, they probably were not more than you know 5000 people in the entire united states. that now by the mid- 1960s, the number of counterculture followers had suddenly exploded into hundreds of thousands of. and indeed by the 70s it might even has been is three or 4 million. you know really large numbers of people. the numbers matter. whereas the beats had felt repressed and rejected by society, the beatniks had shared that, the hippies were numerous enough that they were confident that they could actually go out and create their own society, their own counterculture. i mean why pay attention to the
10:34 pm
rest of society if you disapprove of it and dislike it, withdrawn go up on your own and create around society. your own counterculture. indeed in most large american cities there were entire hippie neighborhoods. you know in seattle the big hippie neighborhood was fremont. it had the cheapest rent, that's why. hippie neighborhoods and cheap rent always went together. unlike greenwich village or north beach, many of these districts got little attention from tourist i mean that's understandable because can you imagine tourists going to fremont? i don't think anybody did. hippies did not care to play teachers, that was another different. the beats in the beatniks had been interested in joining them soft off rent a beatnik required natalie someone to rent the big neck but reports a month to be willing to be rented. hippies didn't instead wanted to develop a community where different occupations would fit in. whereas the original beats had been writers, very few hippies cared much about writing.
10:35 pm
and even fewer actually wrote anything. you know you could try to find hippie writings and there just aren't a lot. one could find perhaps the native novels but the case is not hippie he is like a gary to hippies, he's older and older generation. the beats had been to some extent and literary movement but the hippies were more of a cultural movement that did not include literature. they were social movement to perhaps .in some way the hippies depend upon the writers whom they continue to honor. and so they did not need to create the philosophical or literary underpinnings for their movement. the way that the beats had felt it necessary to have illest topical understanding that was expressed in writing tricks of the beats had done that and so the hippies did not need that. large numbers as i said matter. the hippies felt a certain confidence that they were right and that came from the fact that
10:36 pm
they could look around to see lots of other people who looked just like themselves. the beats had had to justify themselves even to themselves with the writings in part because it left their small numbers left them so psychologically vulnerable, wondering about their own true significance. it was hard to believe in something if you are only six other people who believe it. you know numbers actually make a difference. the psychological difference between the beats and hippies is important. if the beats were gloomy, the hippies were hopeful. and where is the beats were were old close and secondhand clothes that cost almost nothing, they had been gotten for free, and drab colors, the hippies were bright colors often elaborately decorated. hippie clothing was often expensive, it wasn't always true of course but it's really could be. hippies were always designed to be seen. they liked being notice and wearing bright colored clothes was one way to be seen. the handmade jewelry, tie-dyed
10:37 pm
bandannas made a statement. tight fitting jeans celebrating the body. hippies were partly about bombing noses at older generations, perhaps the tight jeans were also important because older people didn't wear such close and mainly wouldn't want to. finally, much hippie dress was unisex will and that was a factor of the older generation noticed. in a way that unisex address of hippies announced the coming of women's liberation, including the liberation from the skirt. this is where that comes in. like the beats, hippies were long hair. perhaps even longer than the here that the beats had worn. this is true for both hippie women and hippie men. if bees prefer to be left alone, hippies announced their presence to the whole society and i think it's fair to say the hippies were in fact exhibitionists. beats and hippies had different music. this turned out to be an important
10:38 pm
difference. interest in just declined in the late 1950s. there's a lot of speculation about why that happened. perhaps there were fewer talented jazz performance the late 50s and early 60s i don't know. it's an interesting question but for some reason there wasn't much interest. in the 60s rock 'n roll ruled and hippies adopted and adapted to new music and created their own particular version of rock & roll. the beats never did except rock & roll and that was important distinction. jack crowe reprimanded a lifelong jazz band and announce rock & roll and despised hippies and said so publicly. he said i'm no hippie, i hate those people. he's very reactionary. more accommodating allen's ginsberg found rock & roll intriguing but difficult to understand, ginsberg really couldn't get into the spirit of rock & roll even though he tried to do so. ginsberg did however recognize that the new music was important to the hippie. he understood that
10:39 pm
and he thought that the rise of the new music itself indicated the importance of hippie and certainly is true whenever there is a cultural change, there will be a new music. you can go back throughout history and you will find cultural change and music, the change in music and change of culture always go together, there's a reason for that. many people speculated that where the hippies wearing bright clothes and listening to rock music? maybe the reason was lsd. beats and hippies had different drugs. although this was in part due to different circumstances, that is the beats i'd have liked lsd, they didn't have any, it wasn't that it didn't exist beats could use alcohol and especially carole who said he ended up dying as an alcoholic but the beats and also experimented with many types of pills and many kinds of drugs, especially allen ginsberg. and then of course
10:40 pm
build burrows in the past a heroin addict. so the beats had bradley smoked marijuana especially i think in new york city with seem to have more access than other places. which they called reefer or pot. hippies also were light users of alcohol and smoked even more pot so the alcohol continues but not much emphasis in the marijuana. it becomes more important so hippies were not likely to use heroin which was more widely understood to be deadly and is a lot bigger understanding of the dangers of heroin in the 1960s to 1940s. and instead hippies turned to the barely new chemical psychedelic drug lsd. lsd had been invented accidentally in the 1943 in switzerland. biochemist named albert hoffman who worked for a drug company called sandoz. he got the drop on
10:41 pm
his wrist, then he rode the bicycle home. the world's first lsd trip, he practically fell off the bicycle. he said aha, this drug is really potent, one little drop does this, we need to research this further. all during the 50s, sandoz the manufacturer can the world's only manufacturer supplied free samples of lsd to researchers all over the world to try to figure out if lsd had any use at all. if sandoz could find a there were some useful purpose for they could make a lot of money for it so they want to make a commercial proposition. indeed it was for time in the 50s thought that it might be useful to treat mental illness. it turned out not true. but it was an interesting theory. it was also for a while thought to be possible that it would be a truth serum and the cia discovered our and experimented using lsd for this
10:42 pm
purpose in the 70s and it did not work in the. by the early 60s, the number of people in research that think that lsd has a useful purpose is beginning to dwindle. but that doesn't mean that lsd doesn't have a purpose, is just not a scientific or medical purpose, it's recreational, it's fun. that's how it changes. so many hippies being a hippie was about using lsd and seeking to find spiritual truth through lsd trips. there was a sociologist who interviewed people in the haight- ashbury in san francisco in 1967 and found that all but the all but one of i think 70 hippies that he interviewed had smoked marijuana within the last 24 hours. which tells you how much marijuana was being smoked. all but two or 3% i think was 97% had at least one lsd trip. so lsd and hippies really do go together. you could call it better living through chemistry. lsd came about,
10:43 pm
in addition to sandoz, through the influence of for people. i will go through each of them in a little bit. the first of these was aldus huxley who is best known as the author of the novel rave new world. that was written before world war ii. huxley who was nearly blind had immigrated to the united states and had become a script writer in hollywood where there's lot more money to be made writing scripts and novels. he loved los angeles because of the bright sunshine. his particular kind of politeness allowed him to see a little light and a little bit, he could actually read if he had a magnifying glass and set aside right next to the swimming pool in the bright sun. he loved l.a. for that reason. in the 1950s, he experimented with
10:44 pm
masculine, which was derived from po date and lsd. he wrote the first serious book about on the subject of lsd. for the general reader, as opposed to science of course. in science magazine. the book of course is doors of perception. in the doors of perception huxley advocated psychedelic as the way the world speaks. people that lsd was so purple purple that it would cause all of the internal mental structures everybody in the world to be radically altered and then peace would break out all over the world. huxley believed that human society would be totally reorganized if the world took lsd. huxley continued to advocate lsd into the rest of the 50s and into the early 1960s until he died of cancer in 1963. huxley so impressed the rock star jim morrison that morrison named his rock group the doors , in honor of
10:45 pm
huxley's book. huxley was smart enough to realize however that lsd posed a threat to the existing political and social order. he sees this as a radical drug but with radical consequences and he knows therefore the people who hold power likely to resist it. therefore huxley throughout his career, he advocated that a medical model be used for research and promoting the use of lsd. if medical elites in other words, eminent doctors, could be persuaded to give lsd only to elite patients, to regret cary grant was one, there would be no crackdown on the government. but government or clare booth luce, the wife of the publisher of time magazine, if you had eminent people taking lsd in a medical setting under the advice, guidance and care of an eminent physician, the government was not going to outlook
10:46 pm
although lsd nor arrest people. is huxley's idea was that if you could spread lsd to the elites, in this way, eventually lsd would be recognized for the great changes that could bring about to the human psyche and therefore you could change the world. but huxley warned that if lsd became too widely available and used by to meet people there would be a backlash and the politicians would then ban it. of course is exactly what happened. the second person who promoted this in the early stage was allen ginsberg. i never met a drug he didn't like, i tried the first time anyway. sometimes he backed off after the first time that ginsburg tried many drugs at the time he took lsd. ironically allen ginsberg got his first lsd in a government run experiment sponsored by the veterans administration hospital at stanford university in the 1950s.
10:47 pm
late 1950s. vance byrd was astonished by lsd, compared to the other psychedelic drugs that he tried including peyote, mescaline, and yucky which was a drug that came from south america he found lsd revolutionary. he thought it at lsd was used wisely, it would carl cause the political, social and cultural system of the united states and eventually the entire world, to implode. and of course that's what the beats had been wanting all along since the 1940s. does change everything right? ginsburg however like huxley worried that a premature mass publicity for this drug would lead to a breakdown. the whole thing will cause a crisis and produce a big black backlash. in 1960 it was allen ginsberg who introduced lsd to timothy leary. so is not the other way around. leary was already,
10:48 pm
he was a harvard psychologist researcher at the time and he was researching other drugs including the use of psilocybin which was based on magic mushrooms. it was an artificial produced vision of magic merce rooms a trick of the psilocybin was nearly as passable as lsd and ginsburg told leary he was the trial lsd and quit fooling around was psilocybin because you know it's nothing and he didn't believe him at first. but then ginsburg warned leary about the political dangers of doing this and leary who had no experience with politics or the media or the law the way ginsburg did paid no attention. remember ginsburg had been prosecuted for the publication of powell and the famous trial in 1950 so ginsburg understood public relations and law and you know the way that you could
10:49 pm
get into trouble pretty easily without that so leary becomes the third figure in the spread of lsd. he started feeling giving lsd to his friends and to his graduate students and then to harvard undergraduates. that is the point when harvard pulled the plug. in 1963 harvard fired erie for turning on undergraduates and leary then moved to upstate new york to an estate millbrook, to conduct what he called lsd experiments. now millbrook was owned by one of his followers who had inherited it, obviously an air to a wealthy new york city fortune. leary had his experience were rather cautious, although they were by no means serious. he was still trapped inside his own head in the world the research scientist, he had been a research scientist ever since world war ii so we had all the jargon that
10:50 pm
psychologist use and everything had to be set up as an experience in you to keep lab notes and so forth. and although he spoke that jargon, his behavior became increasingly bizarre under the influence of daily lsd trips. everyday. lsd seemed to break down innovation and it seemed to break up marriages and it certainly broke up his and it led to a lot of exhibitionists nudity noted. he liked this. he liked all the women that came to and would give them lsd and they would then do whatever he wanted. he became a guru for the hippie movement and he declared, most famously turn on, tune in and drop out. turning on of course meant taking lsd and tuning in meant tuning into your inner self and the spirituality it was supposed to provide and dropping out meant to quit school and quit your job and become hippie they brought the
10:51 pm
authorities down hard on larry and when he and his family across the border into united states he was arrested and this caused him a lot of trouble. leary is interesting because he had a natural knack for soundbites and he would call press conference and it would always be one line that would become the headline of the new york times story in the first paragraph and inevitably on page 1 getting constant publicity turning on tuning in and dropping out. the fourth person in the movement was ken kesey who
10:52 pm
could also be described as an oregon novelist and author and a political libertarian with anarchist tendencies. he was very proud of the fact that his ancestors had been pioneers in the west and thought of himself as a rugged westerner pioneer. he been in the creative writing program at stanford and while there he worked at the va hospital he was exceptionally self-willed and as a writer had a good vocabulary for description and unlike most users of lsd, he retained a capacity for describing what was going on while he was stoned. he could at times even right while he was stoned which no
10:53 pm
one else seemed to be able to do. the doctors at the va hospital were fascinated with kesey as a test case because he never had anyone who is able to do this. after his book one flew over the cuckoo's nest he bought a house and began to experience with lsd on his own. this is early 60s kesey almost immediately grasp that if you can have a drug that's as powerful as elysee you need to have music that goes with it. so, you hired a musician a young folksinger named jerry garcia. garcia tried classical music jazz, folk music didn't work at all and then this is
10:54 pm
how gary garcia ends up founding the grateful dead it all comes out of these experiments with mixing lsd and music together. mike huxley and ginsburg, he understood the revolutionary potential of lsd but rejected their approach. he believed her crackdown was inevitable and felt the best chance to get out to accept and express the lsd so in 1965 he staged his test in san francisco . at the acid test lured there by the music the participants were given a chance to take lsd at the concert. and, the jefferson airplane showed up to their name stood for free trip and in 1965 in 1966 december disco bands,
10:55 pm
reported to moby dick and quicksilver messenger service rose to prominence on lsd was no longer distributed at the concerts and so, elysee became rampant in 1966 before the state of california and the u.s. government both ended in october 1966. it remained available but riskier after that because you never knew about the safety of it. all of this would lead into the summer of love in san francisco in 1967, 50 years ago. but about 75,000 some of them high school students and college students converged on the haight-ashbury district of san francisco during the summer . the new hippie hangout district cannot the north beach area because the rent was too high
10:56 pm
>> scott mckenzie headset if you go to san francisco and were flowers in your hair in may, 1957 he sung this and it stimulated people to go there. there were free concerts in nearby golden gate park and a lot of marijuana and lsd and any young person with long hair, walking down the sidewalk would be offered drugs at least once per block . >> being a hippie turned out to be about three things. rock music, drugs and sex. there was plenty of sex as well or at least there was a lot of talk about sex. maybe there was plenty of sex because the rate of sexually transmitted diseases went way up that year. a year later most of the hippies were gone from san francisco, that he was overrun with heroin on a crime and they had eaten all of the neighborhood cat. think about
10:57 pm
that. some of the hippies fled to berkeley where they continue to live in the 70s but others also moved out of town to quieter places, perhaps to mendocino county or you could grow your own marijuana get the biggest crush in mendocino county. overall communes became the new thing for the counterculture in the 70s and by the 70s there were hundreds of thousands of people living in rural communes so the hippies left the cities and moved to the country because of rising rents and because they wanted to escape their neighbors who were irritated with them and so forth. they also tried to grow fruit in the rural communes. meanwhile the counterculture became commercialized in the 70s and one fine co-optation going on, especially in the music industry, it was the first one
10:58 pm
and one she had big money for it was going to bring in people with money and at first the music industry tried to create their own rock groups that would be less drug oriented and easier to manage and cheaper but the major groups have more talent in the audience cared about the talent and in the end the recording companies had a huge amount of money and promises of artistic freedom. jerry garcia and the grateful dead was the first band called out for a record contract under which they got to decide who the recording engineer would be and they got total approval of the content of the album. it mattered a lot and it changed the way music was done. the albums mostly recorded in los angeles but not in new york the ones in los angeles were: the ones in new york were stodgy and old-fashioned. as long as drugs were legal there was no way to
10:59 pm
commercialize the hippie drug market but hippies had other new ideas about food they were hostage to large corporations they just liked processed foods and many became vegetarians and others declared themselves in favor of a benefit and they grew organic food and favored natural foods as well. it's an interesting story. the two jewish guys from brooke go up to vermont and refill the whole state around ice cream. but although ben and jerry was a capitalist business it was a small business it was not a part of any conglomerate in the company donated generously to vermont charities. in boulder colorado celestial season started producing herbal tea originally picked wild in the mountains behind boulder and eventually becoming one of
11:00 pm
colorado's largest companies. co-op grocery store spring up in hippie neighborhoods and cities are often the produce would come in from farms outside of town and while most of these ultimately disappeared at least to some survived including the pcc in seattle. >> the health industry can also be traced to the 60s. fitness centers, exercise classes, the best disapproval of alcohol and the rise of dance and entertainment was all about body worship and idea that any hippie would recognize. hippies are gonna be in a real crisis when they reach the age where they need nursing home care >> in the hippie view of the world, hippies never get old which is fascinating, but i'm proposing that there be a chain of cemeteries called woodstock and, at woodstock cemetery of the music of woodstock will be played forever in the background
11:01 pm
but there is one other way in which the counterculture also figured in the invention of the personal computer. the personal computer was invented in menlo park california for six blocks away from where jerry garcia lived when he was doing the grateful dead and it soon attracted the attention of a young teenage hippie by the name of steve jobs and so, apple computer actually emerges out of the counterculture. but, what is the connection. at the time, the only computer that anyone had or ibm or honeywell or other major corporations and they sold computers for millions of dollars for only large government agencies are large corporations who could afford to have a computer. the vision of the personal computer was that everyone in the world could have a personal computer. but, each person in the world
11:02 pm
could be empowered by a tremendous amount of computing power by having that and today's cell phones have more power on them than the giant computers did in the 1960s. steve jobs really did follow the vision that he was from the bay area and pretty much a part of the counterculture of the bay area and he went to college for one semester then dropped out and then went to india and lived in india for eight months and became a buddhist and came back to san jose and you can see the monastery up above the interstate in san jose to this day and so, the personal computer is the ultimate legacy of the counterculture. i will stop with that. >> week we are featuring american history tv programs is a preview of what is available every weekend on cspan-3. lectures in history, american artifacts real america, the civil war, oral history, the
11:03 pm
presidency and special event coverage about our nations history. enjoy american history tv now and every weekend on cspan-3 . >> weeknights this month we are featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what is available every weekend on cspan-3. this week i look at the weekly lectures in history series, which takes you into college classrooms around the country. friday, programs that examine legal history including the 1981 trial of jean harris, accused of murdering herman turn our, the university of colorado denver's kosice background >> watch american history tv at 8 p.m. eastern and every saturday and sunday on second labor day
11:04 pm
weekend on american history tv saturday at 8 pm eastern on lectures in history a discussion about abraham lincoln and native american and a real america, the invasion of southern france >> in the wake of the recent shootings the house judiciary committee will return early from a summer recess to markup three gun violence prevention bills restricting firearms from those deemed by a court to be a
11:05 pm
risk to themselves and preventing individuals convicted of misdemeanors from purchasing a gun. coverage begins thursday at 10 am eastern on this until i covered using the free c-span radio app american history tv lectures in history series continues with a discussion on the use of the public opinions on opium in the 19th century we heard how most addicts during that time were a us women who originally had been prescribed drugs by the dock is 45 minutes >> okay, good morning everyone and today we are looking at the issue of drug addiction in 19th- century america or the term they would've used at that time, habitual drug use because this is before the concept of addiction had really been clearly understood. and, we are going to look at


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on