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street news for the tenth of may
The Council for a Summer of Love, we hear, has composed an answer to 'Uncle Tim'$ Children' & is now hunting for someone to print it. If they really know where we are at, they would ask us to print it, but their vision seems to be smaller than our reality, so they haven't.
Something (we think it's mainly money) has so blinded them, they can't believe that we would print something that disagreed with us, or put us down ('denounced' was the word we heard) or did whatever it is their statement does. They can't believe that we'd print it straight, without sabotaging it. (Perhaps they can't believe that we would because, in the same position, they wouldn't, maybe.) More than any words they use, this tells us where they're at.
Nevertheless, they are our tribal brothers & we love them, and even if we didn't, we would print & distribute their statement for them free of charge, unsabotaged; because we know that diversity of opinion, dialogue & controversy are essential to freedom, & we really dig to be free.
Ron & Jay Thelin, proprietors of the Psychedelic Shop & big wheels in the hip community, are most unusual people. On the one hand, they were thoroughly indoctrinated in the U.S. business ethic as children, trained from birth to have the proper U.S. reverence for money & to be good businessmen when they grew up. On the other hand, they really are turned-on people, steeped in the love of love, incredibly eager to fill the world with love, genuinely good people.
All of which puts them in a fairly awkward position & keeps them there. They became merchants some time before they discovered the real & basic conflict between business & love. They want to be good businessmen -- they were carefully & successfully trained to want that -- but even more, they want to be true lovers. They want to do the righteous thing at all costs, even when it's not good business to do that (though they'd like it to be good business, too.) Their business training makes it difficult for them to see what the right thing is sometimes, but they're hungry to learn, & when they finally see it, they do it.
Last January, for example, realizing that people are more important than profits (which flatly contradicts the US business ethic), they turned most of the Psych Shop into a Calm Center, a meditation room, voluntarily limiting their own business/profit potential. Few US businessmen (including the other Haight Street merchants) would be willing to subordinate commerce to community like that & most of them think anything that threatens to reduce or limit profits is a menace to society.
So we know where the Thelins are at (as well as where they're going) & weren't a bit surprised the other day to hear that they have realized their tribal responsibility to the street kids & are acting accordingly. They are turning the Psych Shop into a cooperative venture, owned by & profitting the community, & are either selling shares at a price the street kids can afford or giving some percentage of their shares to the street kids free, depending on who's telling you what story.
Either way, the Thelins are on the right track & moving (at their own speed) in the right direction, & the communication company is proud of them. They do what they say. In this time of the world, there is no higher praise. Therefore:
Henceforth, the word 'merchants' as used by the communication company will not include Ron & Jay Thelin unless we specifically name them, for they are clearly not members of so picayune a class.
Praise them with great praise.
The new hip store on Haight Street (where the hardware store used to be) seems to be a few cuts above the merchant class, too. The story we've heard (from impeccable sources) is that the shop is (or is to be) jointly owned by its employees, & that its net profits are to be donated to the diggers (whoever they may be this week).
If this is true, it's perfect. The thing that makes business so dangerous to the soul, so dehumanizing, so hostile to freedom, is our ancient enemy, Greed. The love of money. The insane lust for more & ever more money -- more than you need, more than you can use, more than you can spend, more than you can even count -- that has turned the western world into what we've had to drop out of to live.
There's nothing wrong with money, basically. It's just another communications medium, just another form of energy. The trouble is greed, which makes money more important than it really is, changes it from a means into an end, something to work for instead of with, & turns free men into dollar slaves. People who work for money are owned by what they work for, or by whoever has it; they are unable to want to do anything to jeopardize their financial security; they are forced to do inhuman things for money; they see everything in terms of money -- narrow terms --; they can't believe in anything that can't be sold; they believe that everything, including themselves, has its price -- this & more, & yet they do not know they are not free. They do not know that there are better things to make than money. They don't even know what money is.
Money is energy. Energy must flow. If you hold on to it you get burned. If your greed is strong enough, you do not feel the pain -- or anything else.
Moneylust is sickness. It kills perception. Everyone is entitled to make a living, a good living, but everything more than a living is dying.
Almost all of us were exposed to this disease in childhood, but dope & love are curing us. The Thelins & the new shop people, if the stories we've heard are accurate, are getting well, unlike the other shopkeepers (so far), & we congratulate them. Instead of sickly exploiting the hip community, they're healthily living in it. Be advised.
from the communication company (ups) you don't say love you do
[Reprint of a "teletype" message from "TIME MAGAZINE HQ, NEW YORK" to "San Francisco Bureau" requesting background for Hippie issue. Note that in the text, certain sections have brackets ( [....] ) indicating underlined or otherwise highlighted in the Communication Company reprint.]
Nation scheduling cover on the Hippies presswarding June 24. With summer icumen in fast and the predicted invasion of the Hippies and would-b-Hippies about to begin, time is ripe for an in-depth analysis of this controversial, cloud-cuckooland miniculture. Seems to us that for all its faults, [the Hippie culture at its best provides a beneficial counterbalance of altruism, mysticism, philosophical and psychological skepticism in an otherwise hard and pragmatic America.] At its worst of course, it is vapid, purposely infantile, antiproductive, mind-blown, escapist, silly and -- dare we squarely say -- downright unhealthy. We will want to define and explore all these facets in our faceless cover, mapping such Hippie capitals as San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, New York's East Village, whatever took the place of the strip in Los Angeles and the hip scenes of major American -- and some foreign -- cities. We will want to see the Hippies at play and (if true) at work -- on the nude beaches in Southern California, growing pot in Mexico or wherever, in their jammed hash-smelling communal dwellings, in Tangier and India and Nepal (if they are still there), Paris and London and Tokyo. Any left in Athens? Will need to know the latest in their musical tastes (copious quotes from lyrics appreciated where applicable), their heroes and villains, their argot (which we could possibly break out as a separate glossary box). [Who are their gurus and what do they read?] Will need hardest check on the drug scene -- how much acid they really use, how often, how they react to it, any deaths or accidents attributable to it how much pot and speed they consume. Will of course need a major chunk on the "Love Cult," its symbols and substance. How big is the Hippie population in each city? How many are ersatz or part-time, Hippies? Please talk to psychologists and sociologists, cops and clergymen for their interpretations of the reaction to the Hippies. How many of the Hippies are Negroes or is it mostly a white phenomenon? How do they survive? How do the girl Hippies afford the pill or don't they? In San Francisco, many work as postmen (and will want that strange sight described) but what else do they do for bread? Has the Digger phenomenon spread whereby altruistic Hippies provide for their hungry brethren? How do they get the goods? Much theft? Are square businessmen and shopkeepers in Hippie neighborhoods scared of them or growing more tolerant.
[Will need substantial paragraph or two in cover tracing the history of the phenomenon and relating it to the Beats of the '50s. Historically, what other kooky subcultures has the world been blessed (or cursed) by? Some pro-Hippie writers have seen parallels between the early Christians and the Hippies. Indeed the Romans thought the early Christians were daft, too. What are the philosophical and cultural roots of the many odd strands in the Hippie scene? Need sharp quotes from experts to document this plus your own ideas.]
Will want to talk about the Hippie [businessman], the people who feed off the Hippies and run the psychodelicatessans, [Fillmore auditoriums], [rock groups], cafes and whatever, that Hippies frequent. How much do they make -- any fortunes yet?
Since with the summer vacation starting we are bound to have more clashes between square society (fuzz) and Hippies like that in Manhattans Tompkins Square Park this week, we will need good action and detail for news part of our cover. For the rest please [go at the description and deliniation of the subculture as if you were studying the Samoans or the Trobriand Islanders -- detached, cool, pleading no causes and resisting the temptation to put them down. But with plenty of color.] Will need bulk of your files in New York by Saturday noon, June 17. Please advise soonest of any sources unreachable by you that other bureaus should reach. Also please keep an eye peeled for good picture situations since this is largely terra incognita for us.
Exparker: we are casting a wide net to all US bureaus, two in Canada and eight overseas points for this story. Please keep your files brief and relevant, if this means simply advising us theres no hippy culture worth talking about in your area. So be it