Youth: The Hippies

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houses of "The Hashbury," shrouding the shapes of hirsute, shoeless hippies huddled in doorways, smoking pot, "rapping" (achieving rapport with random talk), or banging beer cans in time to ubiquitous jukebox rhythms. The tinkle of Indian elephant bells echoes from passing "seekers"; along the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park, hollow-cheeked flower children queue up for a plateful of stew, dispensed from the busy buses of the Diggers, a band of hippie do-gooders. Last week the sidewalks and doorways were filling with new arrivals—hippies and would-be hippies with suitcases and sleeping bags, just off the bus and looking for a place to "crash" (sleep). Wise hippies wrap themselves in scrapes against the San Francisco chill, or else wear old Army or Navy foul-weather jackets and sturdy boots. One way to identify the new arrivals is by their mod clothes: carefully tailored corduroy pants, hip-snug military jackets, snap-brimmed hats like those worn by Australian soldiers (also known as Diggers).

Rubberneckers are now as much a part of The Hashbury scene as are hippies. At the Drogstore, where a bowl of minestrone or a hamburger costs 75¢, goggle-eyed straights in suit and tie sniff the air for the musky-sweet scent of marijuana; others flock to such hippie shops as the Print Mint and the Phoenix to buy pornographic or psychedelic posters.

The Hashbury's pads are something else. Most of them sport gaudily painted doors and rainbow window shades; in one window near the Drogstore is a gigantic copy of a canned-fruit ad that, in red, green and gold, proclaims "Del Monte Boobs." Within The Hashbury circulate more than 25 undercover narcotics agents, who arrest an average of 20 hippies a week, usually for possession of marijuana. Busted hippies in turn come back under orders to inform on their suppliers, but the drug sources are so varied and elusive that the "narco" squad has yet to pin down any major outlet.

Formidable & Forbidding. Difficult as it is to take precise bearings on the hippies, a few salient features stand out. They are predominantly white, middleclass, educated youths, ranging in age from 17 to 25 (though some as old as 50 can be spotted). Overendowed with all the qualities that make their generation so engaging, perplexing and infuriating, they are dropouts from a way of life that to them seems wholly oriented toward work, status and power. They scorn money—they call it "bread"—and property, and have found, like countless other romantics from Rimbaud to George Orwell, that it is not easy to starve. Above all, as New York's Senator Robert Kennedy ("the best of a bad lot" to hippies) puts it: "They want to be recognized as individuals, but individuals play a smaller and smaller role in society. This is a formidable and forbidding arrangement."

To alter that arrangement, the hippies hope to generate an entirely new society, one rich in spiritual grace that will revive the old virtues of agape and reverence. They reveal, says University of Chicago Theologian Dr. Martin E. Marty, "the exhaustion of a tradition: Western, production-directed, problem-solving, goal-oriented and compulsive in its way of thinking." Marty refuses to put the hippies down as just another wave of "creative misfits," sees them rather as

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