“Death of Hip, Birth of Free,” Berkeley Barb (1967)
One year ago Oct 6 marked the first Love Pageant, the first free food in the Haight and a prophecy of a declaration of independence. Next Friday, a year later October 6 will signal “the Death of Hippie” and “Rebirth of Free Men” and a Declaration of Independence.
The Committee for Community made up of representatives of the Switchboard, Free Medical Clinic, Housing Office, Free Store, Oracle and others, who do not wish to be named, called its second meeting on the Death of Hippie celebration Wednesday. All those present could agree on the necessity for the “Death of Hippy.” Most felt that media had created the concepts of “Hippy,” hippy culture, ethics, and hippy community. There was a general consensus that the media’s image enticed many dissatisfied young people to the Haight—people who in most cases had not made an internal commitment to drop out.
This influx of uncommitted people in need of housing, food and other services changed the environment for those already there. They tried to fulfill the needs of the newcomers. “Rather than asking them to do their thing, the community tried to give them what they came for,” as one person put it. Many speakers expressed concern that the resulting situation destroyed the freedom of both the older residents and the new arrivals. Instead of “doing their thing” people were becoming media image “hippies,” they felt.