Psychedelic ‘Flower power’ PEZ dispensers inspired by the Summer of Love
06:40 am



Psychedelic PEZ
Ah, PEZ, you bewitching sweet Austrian treat with your collectible mechanical pocket dispensers. Is there any trend or franchise you can’t coopt? The fantastic dispensers pictured here came out in 1968 and were created to tie into the “Flower Power” of the Summer of Love that had just happened a year earlier. (1968 would be a considerably darker year, but the dispensers still fit in fine.) There was a “flower” design and a “hand” design; both featured eyeballs. [Could these have inspired The Residents to adopt their trademark eyeball masks?]

According to Nina Chertoff and Susan Kahn in Celebrating PEZ, the flower flavor didn’t go over very well:

When psychedelic eyes were produced in the 1960s, [Eduard Haas, founder of the PEZ company] insisted that the candies be flower flavored to tie in with the “flower power” theme of the times. Their taste was unpopular, and they were finally pulled off the market.

Oh well. Wikipedia lists “Flower” alongside “Chlorophyll Mint,” “Coffee,” and “Yogurt” as one of eight “retired” PEZ flavors. Aren’t you curious what it tasted like?

They came out in 1968 and there was a limited reissue in the late 1990s—available by through a mail-in offer only—but I can’t tell the difference. Experts can, I presume. An original “Psychedelic Hand” model with a black hand can go for more than $500.

You can buy a pretty groovy mug with a “psychedelic PEZ” motif on it.
Flower Power PEZ
Flower Power PEZ
Flower Power PEZ
Flower Power PEZ
I know this is a total cliché, but here’s a Christian song in the new wave style called “Love Dispenser” with a stop-motion animated video, done with PEZ. It’s actually not bad!

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Revisiting ‘Sean,’ the four-year-old child of Haight-Ashbury hippies, 1970
11:40 am



In 1970, amateur documentarian Ralph Arlyck made a short film on his downstairs neighbor’s four-year-old son, Sean. The eponymous 15 minute interview is one of the most stirring relics of hippie-era America. In the movie, a dirty child struggles to list off the days of the week, runs barefoot through the streets of San Francisco, and discusses smoking pot without a hint of discretion. Expressing anxiety at “getting busted,” Sean is unsure of the role or purpose of the police, and you can hear the stress in his voice as he parrots the anti-authoritarian rhetoric of the hippies. He’s too young to really understand “fuck the police,” and he’s left apprehensive about his own safety and security, and that of his parents, I’m sure.

When Sean (the documentary) made the rounds—even landing a screening at The White House—reactions were as strong as they were varied. Some saw Sean as the first in a new generation of children free of bourgeois values. Many others were (understandably) concerned. Sean’s purported drug use alone was enough to raise eyebrows, but even without a mention of pot, you see a dirty, somewhat nervous child that doesn’t appear to be receiving proper care. Predictions of his future ranged from stockbroker to drug dealer, but Sean quickly disappeared from the public eye.

In 2005 Ralph Arlyck made a follow-up to the film, called Following Sean, which is now streaming on Netflix. Hoping to sate his own curiosity about Sean’s adult life, Arlyck found Sean was neither a stock-broker, a freak, nor a name in an obituary, but a working class electrician with a confident industriousness and a quiet humor. The film filled in the gaps of Sean’s life; he and his siblings (at least one of which didn’t fare as well as he did in terms of life success) were split up and moved around during his younger years. Sean’s father practiced free love, and once brought Sean with him to meet a teenage girlfriend. Sean’s mother eventually took the children after separating from their father, and she began to follow a guru.

Sean admits that he wasn’t keen on the guru, but at least his mother was more committed to providing him stability than his father. You can see how Sean’s childhood formed his adult values, which are at least somewhat of a reaction to his father’s erratic parenting. While he doesn’t complain much about his upbringing and appears to have a good relationship with his father (who is now financially dependent on his children), he’s clearly not a fan of the hippie lifestyle, especially not for families.

When you see Sean with his own son, he’s engaged and dedicated, determined to be maintain a consistency that he never had. Adult Sean values family and security above all else, and he truly seems happy. Still, the image of a young Sean has so much impact; while no one can predict the trajectory of a child, you get the impression he escaped a rough life by the skin of his teeth.

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Happy Earth Day Hippies! Let’s ‘F*ck For Forest’

WOW this film looks AMAZING! And NOT in the way that the creators intended!

Fuck For Forest is a new documentary following the titular eco-activist group FFF, who have a simple modus operandi: convince strangers on the streets of Berlin to film gonzo porn with them, which is then sold with all profits going to help save the Amazon rainforests. The movie makers travel with FFF to the wilds of South America to meet the people they aim to ‘help’, only to discover, unsurprisingly, that the locals are not enamored with their unique brand of spirituality (which seems to entail a lot of nudity.)

It sounds like it came from the mind of Sacha Baron Cohen, but alas, it’s real. Here is the Fuck For Forest group’s Wikipedia page, which states that they are the world’s first ‘eco-porn’ org.

In its first year of existence,[when?] the organisation’s website netted over $100,000 for rain forest protection through the sale of paid memberships. In their first six months of existence the group received seed funding from the government of Norway. They are the world’s first eco-porn organization.However, the organisation’s unorthodox methods have made it difficult to distribute the money it makes. The Norwegian chapter of the Rainforest Foundation Fund as well as the WWF both in the Netherlands and in Norway have refused to accept donations from FFF. As a result, Fuck for Forest is working on a project to work directly with indigenous communities in Costa Rica and the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.

The film has just gotten a very limited cinema release in the UK, and the reviews have not been good. In fact, it was a damning review by the Guardian that seemed to imply unintentional hilarity that really piqued my interest, making me seek out the trailer and to place it immediately on my “to see” list.

Seriously, check out the additional footage in that Guardian video review after you watch the trailer, it has me wondering if Fuck For Forest is the damning, hilarious portait that this “eco-punk” (or neo-hippy, crusty, whatever you want to call it) scene has always needed?

Fuck For Forest [NSFW]


Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
‘Mondo Hollywood’: When the world went from B&W to color

Mondo Hollywood, Robert Carl Cohen’s poetic 1967 documentary, begins not as you might expect, with shots of LA’s tie-died hippies but rather with a John Birch Society-type anti-Communist meeting attended by, among others, Glenn Beck’s idol, W. Cleon Skousen, the kooky Mormon “historian,” FBI agent, crackpot conspiracy theorist, and slavery apologist. (Mitt Romney studied under Tea party icon Skousen while in college at Brigham Young University).

Without meaning to, Cohen’s time-capsule film begins by pointing out to viewers how, in some respects, so very little has changed since the 1960s—these folks are the Teabaggers of 1965, they’re even reading the very same batshit crazy Cleon Skousen books—and then he shows how much they did change, or at least the beginnings of that change to come.

Mondo Hollywood uses what appears to have been a lot of silent (very well shot) 16mm footage, and interviews and voice overs done at different times, to create a fascinating time capsule of life in Los Angeles during the very year when the culture went from black and white to vivid psychedelic color. Along the way, we’re introduced to poets, dreamers, acid eaters, trust fund kids, body painters, strippers, proto-hippies (or “freaks” as the Los Angeles variety of hippie was known in 1965-66), transsexuals, avant-garde artists and—this being Los Angeles—plenty of movie stars, a young Frank and Gail Zappa seen at a wild party and even then governor Ronald Reagan, who rails against “filthy speech advocates” at UC campuses. Spookily, future Manson murderer Bobby Beausoleil as well as future Manson Family victim, celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring, both appear in the film.

It’s interesting to note that Mondo Hollywood was set to open the Avignon Film Festival in 1967 but was banned by French government censors who stated:

“This film, in the opinion of certain experts of the Commission [of Control], presents an apology for a certain number of perversities, including drugs and homosexuality, and constitutes a danger to the mental health of the public by its visual aggressivity and the psychology of its editing. The Commission proposes, therefore, its total interdiction.”

Not much in the film would raise an eyebrow today, these “perversions” have all been mainstreamed. I still can’t get over the vintage Tea party crowd at the beginning, myself.

Although I didn’t actually see Mondo Hollywood until many years later, I used to have a huge square poster, similar to the album cover pictured above, hanging over the bed in my first NYC apartment in the 80s. I really wish I still had it!

There is a better, sharper version on Hulu, but it is rife with commercials that you can’t skip. so be warmed. Here’s a nice long interview with Mondo Hollywood director Robert Carl Cohen.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
This one’s for the hippies: Greenwich Village in the 1960s

Cool film footage of Greenwich Village in the Sixties.

The Village has always been a vortex for cultural energy and you can see it in these images. Soulful young longhairs, wide-eyed teenyboppers and angel-headed hipsters cruising the streets looking for something, not sure what it is, but knowing there was something magic in the air and if you walked along MacDougal or Bleecker street long enough you’d connect with it.

Music: “Summer In New York” by The Imaginations.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Get mellow with Tom the surfing hippie: Video artifact from the Age of Aquarius

Primarily a painter these days, Peter Schnitzler was a prolific documentary filmmaker in the 1960s and 70s. He has directed over 100 films on science, the environment and culture. In this short film, Tom, Schnitzler focuses his camera on a young hippie living in the mellower Southern California of the early 70s.

A groovy artifact from the tail end of the Age Of Aquarius infused with good vibes and a heavy dose of nostalgia. This was made for the National Institute Of Mental Health as a training film. An anthropological study of the hippie in its natural habitat? 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
At the foot of the mountains of madness:  Fat, nude, longhaired Jew shrooming and firing off .357s

I lived in Northern New Mexico during the late 1960’s and from 2003 to 2008, right at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo (blood of Christ) mountain range. This is an area that has drawn artists, outlaws, visionaries and lost souls for decades, from D.H. Lawrence to Dennis Hopper to the New Buffalo Commune and the Rainbow Tribe. The mountains are thought to have mystical powers, both good and bad. It is said they can mess with a man’s mind. I lived in Taos, which a friend once called “the world’s largest open air mental institution”, and I saw the flow of neo-hippies coming into town blending with the old guard who had been living there for decades. It was a wild mix of 1960’s Aquarian Age values and a kind of longhair punk nihilism - a fascinating blend turning a bit moldy at the edges and slightly rotten at the core.

Dennis Hopper was busted in the mid-1960’S in Taos for walking into a town council meeting brandishing a shotgun.

Shot in New Mexico, the “fat Jew on shrooms” video (Rob Tyner, is that you?) is a comically surreal version of the kind of madness you’ll find in the high desert, on the mesas and in the bloody mountains. The altitude can turn a simple psychedelic trip into something straight out of a Castaneda book and, in this dude’s case, something gonzo from Hunter Thompson. I don’t know how ‘real’ it is, but at 10,000 feet above sea level shit happens. Whether shroom boy is having a bonafide mystical experience or just going apeshit for the camera doesn’t matter. It’s the vibe, man. And the vibe is spooky.

In New Mexico, guns, pot and longhair are totems of some new bizarre breed of hippie outlaw.

The other video included here is from a film called “Off The Grid” and is the real deal. I knew these folks in the video. I had a store not far from where they lived on the mesa and they were my customers. Many were Vietnam vets, a few were clinically insane, others were social outcasts or folks just looking to live the simple hippie life. I liked most of them. But a few had feral children that saddened me. Dirty and hungry, these little kids were living in poverty and squalor, not by their own design, but by the choices their parents, mostly quite young themselves, had made in deciding to live outside of society.

The directors of “Off The Grid” were told by the folks depicted in the film never to screen the movie in Taos. If they did, they’d regret it.

A little comedy followed by something a bit more serious. The connection between these videos is kind of tenuous; longhairs with guns. That’s something I never imagined during the Summer Of Love.

Life off the grid after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Punk rock hippie shit: ‘Please help need LSD now!’
12:28 am

Pop Culture


Photo source: redteam
I took some home movie footage shot in San Francisco in 1968 and added some music to it. The result: punk rock hippie shit!

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment