As I write this I am watching a History Channel documentary titled “Hippies”, about the counter-culture of the 1960’s. It is incredibly interesting. And as I watch it, I am finding that I remember many things that happened as I was growing up. I also remember the attitude of many people older than me towards the Hippie movement being really negative. In hindsight it isn’t a surprise considering much of what went on.
Probably the first half-hour discussed the use of LSD as well as its development in Europe and the CIA’s efforts to turn it into a psychological weapon. And as I watch now, the discussion is about how things changed during 1966-67 in the Haight-Ashbury section of San Franscisco and the movement, as it was called, moved eastward.
As I said, what I’m seeing so far is quite interesting. The content is really well-researched, which makes me want to look into much of what happened at that time more as time permits.
Probably one of the figures that I recall that, at least to me, was one of the more outrageous of the time was the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He was followed for a time by the members of The Beatles and some others. Another was Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan. Truthfully, I thought both, in their own ways, were at the same time foolish and nasty. But probably the darkest of the characters was Charles Manson. By virtue of the terrible crimes he committed he has become one of the most infamous people who came of age at that time.
Personally, I would put him in the same class as a few other infamous names in history: Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Joseph Stalin, and Mao, just to name a few. There are others, of course, but this is a unique club. And Manson definitely made the cut.
I am going to continue to watch. And I’m sure I’ll write more about it over the next couple of days. From what I’ve seen up to now, it is worth recommending for viewing.