Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. “The Hippies”

Firing Line Videos, Hoover Institution, taped on September 3, 1968, uploaded to YouTube on August 15, 2010.

Guests: Jack Kerouac; Ed Sanders; Lewis Yablonsky


Hold onto your hat for this free-for-all among four men who aren’t simply coming from different directions–they’re in different universes. Sanders: “The problem with terms like ‘hippie’ is that they have a definition forced on them by the media. . . . And you know, you can’t rely on the name ‘hippie’ to include a human being, you know, everything about a particular human being. You know?” Yablonsky: “I kinda disagree with that. I spent last year traveling around the country, various communes and various–Haight Ashbury, Lower East Side, various city scenes, and there was an identifiable . . . people trying, searching for some loving solutions to society’s ills, trying to tune in to the cosmos, whatever that means.” . . . Buckley: “To what extent do you believe the Beat Generation is related to the hippies . . . ?” Kerouac: “I’m 46 years old, these kids are 18, but it’s the same movement, which is apparently some kind of Dionysian movement, in late civilization, which I did not intend, any more than, I suppose, Dionysus did, or whatever his name was. Although I’m not Dionysus to your Euripides, I should have been.”