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This is the second in a series of programs and titled seeds of discontent presenting the program tonight as Harvard's with your assistant professor in the School of Social Work Wayne State University. PROFESSOR SMITH Thank you and welcome to cede to discontent again the purpose of the program during these first several weeks just to look at analyze and listening to the voices and concerns of individuals or groups who have some great with the present order of things and who as individuals or groups seek to do something about it and constructive or destructive ways. It is our belief that by listening to and analyzing selected discontented forces within our society that we may be able to understand the total ramifications of social unrest and turmoil so prevalent in our society today especially and large urban centers where the majority of Americans who habitate only out of this kind of dialogue can we hope to look beyond two plans and
actions that can lead to a life that holds greater promise and meaning for all. Last week you heard the voices of a selected group from the growing population of youngsters being classified as doomed the link once the link went were basically from a lower socio economic strata of society. These youngsters faced overwhelming odds as they started on the long road towards becoming free responsible and contributing citizens to a large extent. They were victims of a history of racial and socio economic problems which to this late date we have not got around to correcting. Tonight we move to an entirely different strata of society to the growing disenchanted white youth of suburbia and the middle class. We're going to look at the growing subculture of the hippies. Although the hippies are different from last week's group in
terms of racial social economic characteristics and to a certain extent in terms of expression of behavior. There are striking similarities between their how concerned and rebellious mood. The term hippie is derived from the bebop phrase hemp which later during the jazz movement Miles Davis and John Coltrane became hip. The term connote to be with it. This is basically when it is applied to the hip. A Madison Avenue term and does not fully reveal the depth and concern of the people involved or what it is that they are striving towards what it is that they are seeking to be with. During the past several weeks I undervalued a number of young men who live in a developing hip a community just south of Wayne State University. They were rather resentful of
the term hippie but readily identified with the hippie philosophy and hippie values. And they agree to discuss the matter with me. Listen as they attempt to define what he means. Maybe it was. Namely what you call kind of compiler changes its writing in a few ways. As a first cause. And. I mean that I'm sure they don't need to change our society just a few points of it which they consider will be in their benefit. What are some of these points. You feel needs to be changed. Well one thing is there is a lot of prejudice in the world and that is one of the main factors. And I'd say that there isn't much personal prejudice against HIV-AIDS you know as a result. You know. OK ridiculous. You know I think that's the main
point. You know that if you know. What does it. Make. Well to most people it would be anybody with long hair who dresses funny and acts funny. But. The hippie itself. It's even started out as an organization are not so much an organization but just a group of people who are very very serious about about doing things. In their way and trying to build their own or. Their surroundings to suit their tastes. And. More and more people have gotten into this. Now you have. The kids that. Come in. And. Go
along for a free ride they dress funny. You can see I'm down at Plum Street they'll get other cars and they'll dress up in there with their beads and things and go out on the street and play happy for a while. And this. These these people are the ones that are seen most often. But I had to ones that are really doing work in the community. You have very dedicated people like Mr. Sinclair. And Michel. In this particular area who. Are building things newspapers and the workshop and magazines. To. Build an atmosphere that they feel is one that is good to live in. Basically them. But can use it to the rebuilding of a community.
Oh right the way they want to build their thing make make it work for them because what they see on the outside. And where they came from they cannot agree with. And so they're building it their own way. And also the point that I made up for. Prejudice that they have to change it to suit them because in the world things cannot be as they like it because there is prejudice against him. No from what I understand. Perhaps there are. What you might call some hangers on some who are going along for the ride. Why do you think the glory seekers. What is out there is happening or what is happening in society. Which you feel might might lead to this. After all. You will know why. If it is a rather unpopular why
would so many people. Move and go along for that kind of ride. Well these these people see they're one of the big things and they have the philosophy I guess would be you know what Allen Ginsberg cost us this small type thing and. These kids will see you know like you know what would you rather do you know love or hate Never. You know these these these kids have trouble with the law not only in their whole lives. They call him they you know they come down here you know hoping for some kind of understanding. But they do not want to. They they can only see like they can always see and feel the other fruits of this you know such as you know. You know loving everybody and the digger type thing. But there's there's something under it because like the kids down here. They don't work because they can't get jobs can't get jobs or my kids are worthwhile
but. They have you know they come down here trying to you know grow their right away from their homes and they want a place to stay you know. And they they seem to fall in with people who don't have you know that much money or any any way to supporting them much less themselves. People always used stuff and were trying to escape from responsibility. It's a lot harder to be responsible for yourself when you have for example no job no money no you don't have high school diploma. There's no way for you to get any higher. Oh and if you work within society structures you're you're a lot more responsible for yourself when you're working with yourself and using your skills as you learn to instead of expecting people to provide for you because of what you've done for the Army. Well I play the games people are trying to form a countys sort of tribal type existence. There are a bunch of people that have the same idea. The thing is they actually have a right to live the way they want to live
what they believe what they want to believe should get off by themselves and start like living for themselves and realizing that on things that matter Arabs. Are not things that. Matter to other people. Because he's seen so much. Money outside. The materialistic values that they're finding once they get a taste of aesthetic values. And what art really is. In both music and any other forms they find that there is there is something here that is very strong and very holy and they stick together for these things and if they were able. To build a complete society
on their own tract of land it would be. Very on materialistic and very very strong on the art lines and self-expression and doing your own thing. Basically then the hippies are a group of young people who want a new community a community which is based on different values. They are searching for values which will allow more individual expression values which have a name which have more relevance to their own personal existence. Certain key words are important in understanding their behavior. Feeling seeing meaning belonging non-conforming in the past two years their ranks have grown at an amazing rate. A recent Time magazine article estimate their population to be in the neighborhood of 300000. This may be a conservative estimate. In any event they are here.
The following dialogue suggests some of the reasons why they are here. Materialism that's where the kids are you know that's that's one of the big gripes is that you know like while Johnny has to go to college Johnny has to get a good job. Joining us to have a good car. Joining us to do this China has to do that. But John it doesn't have to grow up in that in that in that that environment that doesn't doesn't just involve money money money because money is nothing it's a curse because what it is it's a curse that the government has has thrown up pots you know and it's sick. It's really it's mentally sick to see people based based you know spiritual values and values of love and money. I think that's still what it is is these kids who have grown up in the apathetic environment you know where nobody really cares about anybody else I mean you know like I grew up in suburbia and I just you know I think I have to do is keep up with the Joneses and
you know like get rid of the GEORGE JONES I have a problem or something I don't. I don't it's not of my concern it's not of my business and so that's a lot of what you hear in suburbia as it's none of my business let me stay out of it. Searching Bevo said he said Burgess is in the race to do the filming. Society has gotten sort of narrow and I if if if if I could you know if it meant me getting on my knees and begging him please listen to what I had to say you don't have to agree with it but just just try and see him live. See what I'm what I'm trying to tell you you know I back it up you know like you were saying shove a Bible on probably for us. Well here it is you know this is what God says you know the list. You know I'm not saying that because I don't know what God says but I want you to listen I want you to listen I want you to open your mind the minds the minds of society in this world. Ever since the post war approached for work too it seems they've gotten so so
closed up you know they're so tight they want to they don't they just want to see red. You know you have the freedom to do to to do and be as I don't you know you don't have the freedom to be yourself. You have the freedom to be as I. Well like I was going through all of this not only that they're sort of winded it even goes deeper than that that they are prone to go no mind at all it was probably programmed into them until like become a machine like a computer that just shoots twosomes all automatically. It's it's not even a human reaction only more it's just a mechanical reaction that they do this thing to take Take for example color. Now we. Like color because of what it does to our eyes when we see it. And in society they see like an extremely loud shirt and the first thing they see or the first thing and this says is ours cart. STAP enjoy
seeing the color a moment instead of coming up with a reaction that good lord that's loud and it's so different that I can't like it because the people around me or think I'm funny if I do. And you know another crazy thing is you get a guy. And you go into a bookstore and you know you're looking for a book to read OK. OK got a magazine with the craziest loudest cover of it and you know advertising people telling us what they want to sell our product or they do packages so it hits your eye right. They go to work every day and a great fly also and they look like some thousand other people. So who cares. You know it's really silly. But why the magazine but they won't buy you. People then you accepted that you.
Would see even. Better women I think. And. Then the congressman.
Heard him say. There. It is.
No. One cares it is. Just. This. Yes there's the president later. This. Week leading. Us to cheat. With the hippies feel that the spiritual are so qualities of American life leaves much to be desired. They feel at odds with their environment. They want a more meaningful and sensitive environment which will see feel and hear them as significant persons with creative energies and potential. It is a reaction against mass ness and the impersonal forces which are a product of a
rapidly changing industrial society and technical specialized sation. They are reacting against pressures to achieve to strive and obtain material wealth at the expense of other human qualities. They are very aware and are troubled by the numerous contradictions in our values concerning human dignity and equality. They are very aware of the land of promise and where it falls short. What to do about conditions and how is still being studied. And there is not total agreement. However in the following discussion they do suggest some of their strategies for the creation of a more humane society. The whole thing is to show people. What. What. We feel. Are the realities and the things that are
important. Yeah but as you can see they're not they're not by nature what you try to tell you what they are. No they're not they're not there you know you walk down a street and you know why somebody is going to say well here's a comb over here. But you've got you've got a you've got to go you've got to lean to society you can't you can't be stubborn with them you've got you've got to do a little bit there away without actually changing what you believe in but you've got to you've got to share on that that you know like you're doing this wrong because you have to say this in the nice way not just you know turning your nose up to right. Well what are you speaking of religion or the hippy philosophy. You can't just push something on somebody and say here's the Bible read it this is the way to go. This is your salvation. They won't buy this they have to find it themselves. And this is what's happening here people are finding. A way to live you know in a way
to be themselves by. Not by somebody grabbing him by the arm and saying Can Mary kid do this. But by seeing it happen. It forms a change and makes a change your strategy. We get past we have obtained this like we have this episode going to the only way that they achieve what they are starting to achieve as far as the B-schools hippie stores its source of Forth is. When it is going to be moved like a Chris Coke it got so big that the people could no longer fight if it had to start accepting it. And then therefore since they can't fight it they have to accept it and it leaves way for a new strategy to get things done. Like the term drop out you know don't drop out from society stand it find is is not not in a non you know actual nonviolent means but you know not where you go out. In law we shoot the
policeman. Not like that but is it as though we can get involved in just to just the things they're doing get into the jobs they're doing worth this is this is in a way the hippie movement shouldn't this this this movement of oh I guess you call it a long moment she dropped out and made its own colonies you know it should spread it should have spread that's where and I think you want to run listen that was and dropping out. So it's that's where it failed. You know I tend to differ with you there because whenever you have a as something happening in a certain place it changes all of the things around it. It has to. Now you're finding it like the psychedelic type. Moving into advertising and. You're finding it moving into music very very strong. About 50 percent of the music that's written today I would say
is written by hippie groups or by people who are associated with Evie's And just this in itself is affecting a change on the outside. This this movement I'm certain will last for years and years and it will go through many many changes. One of the controversial aspects of the hippie movement is its use of drugs rather than a mere cure. The hippies tend to view the use of drugs as an intricate part of changing the world around them as another dimension of strategy for change. We would like to see more of the establishment turn on the road. There's no two ways about it. Now to give you an idea of what it can be like what was put in terms of seeing things. If you only open one eye you have no depth perception. The only way you can tell how far away an object is is by its size. You open the other eye.
And immediately you have depth perception because you're looking at it from two different points. Each eye is separate from from the other and you're looking at it from two different points. Thus you can judge distance turning out of the drug can be like getting a third eye. Getting a deeper and much deeper understanding and perception of what is going on because. A lot of times like you have. If I'm on. I feel that I'm still myself but I am in a different place. I feel I feel that every everyone has started in a sense. And this just sets me in a different place where I can see. A little bit differently. I don't think quite the same way that I did before. I have different reasons for reaching conclusions than I did before. And with this you
get a deeper understanding of the things that you're seeing now they may just be trivial. Items that your that your W-2 and they can be again very very deep things. Most of the time there are things that. Aren't materialistic. They're in a spiritual being or you know just running a monastery values. When we say a person was straight you know not a pirate even with what you call that reality with things you Susan feels are almost all those sort of like it's a whole big plane of reference that. You know like where you are how you know that just being straight is the real reality you know you really can't you really can't say that. So that being high on drugs or something gives you just a different perspective of the whole thing. Some final thoughts and reflections on hippie philosophy.
Manless always. Try to strive for this utopian state you know you must always try to achieve the perfect happiness. I must always try to say let's keep doing this because if he doesn't he's go away saying that he's going to become nothing. Let me just say this was a closing that the people who would be listening to that stop fighting is just to get as with the selected group of delinquent youngsters who don't lives weeks program. The hippies are anti-authority angry confused and alienated. They tend to view social responsibility mainly in terms of their own needs. There are various social experiments with drugs love and tribal type colony suggest a kind of protest that is aimed both at their own identity and roots and external realities in today's world. They're asking for more meaningful participation and acceptance more human dignity and equality. However the very nature of the movement with its attempted
isolation and disengagement from the pressures of society and the driven is towards smaller type tribal units with an independent set of conforming values and codes tend to contribute to their sense of alienation. There is some suggestion that the use of drugs may become a cult in itself if this happens. All of the creative potential expressed in some of their art forms and humanistic philosophy may dry out. For some the movement has already become a senseless dysfunctional ritual. The delinquents discussed last week and the hippies heard tonight form the basis of a very large and seriously discontented segment rebellious and disenchanted who are in conflict with society today. If these groups are not reached and brought into the larger mainstream of American life the consequences in terms of loss of creative productivity future strife and social disorganization may be
Seeds of discontent
Episode Number
Episode 2 of 26
Producing Organization
Wayne State University
WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Documentary series addressing: race relations, civil rights, poverty, youth, crime, deliquency. Host: Hartford Smith, Jr., Michigan Dept of Social Services and Wayne State U. This prog.: Smith visits a "hippie pad" and explores communal living.
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Producing Organization: Wayne State University
Producing Organization: WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-15-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:46
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Chicago: “Seeds of discontent; Episode 2 of 26,” 1968-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 11, 2021,
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APA: Seeds of discontent; Episode 2 of 26. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from