Filmy, Blank Eyes at Eleven
T: Hey J, Charlie Manson is supposedly on his deathbed, and Granola Jerry Brown is the only thing keeping Leslie Van Houten in prison. Sadie is dead, Clem is painting houses somewhere in the Valley, and Katie is the longest-running female inmate in California. Maybe the country, I dunno. Is this a good time to slack the Manson family?
J: Sure, let’s get it done before Charlie kicks off. Did the 1960s, as we know them, end with the Manson murders?
T: I think the Manson murders ended several activities that were 60’s-ish, like hitchhiking, feeding drifters, loitering on private property … the Manson family took advantage of our society’s version of hospitality, or being neighborly. They stamped all drifters and vagrants with the tag “psychos,” and caused Americans, for the first time ever, to start locking the door.
J: The Manson murders certainly stained the “hippie” stereotype. They were very much in that mold, and we saw what one charismatic nutjob could do to a bunch of peace/love/dope types.
T: What’s funny is that we see the Manson kids as peace/love/dope types, as you characterize them, and I think in many ways that’s what they were – that’s what the youth of that time was – but I don’t see the Manson clan as hippies.
To me, the delineating term might be “dropouts,” more than hippies. To me, hippies were searching for acceptance from the existing society. Manson’s kids were rejects from that part of the culture; they were rejected hippies. When they dropped out of the culture, Charlie was there to catch them.
The Peanut Gallery