Baby Boomer Celebrity: Who Am I?

Posted on August 25th, 2011 in 1960s,1970s,1980s,Counterculture/New Age,Me Generation,New Left,Politics,Pop Culture by Terry Hamburg

I was the poster boy for baby boomer rebellion. I dropped out of Berkeley in 1964 and led the first big demonstrations against the Viet-Nam war. I also co-founded the Yippies—the Youth International Party.

Yippie Flag: Marijuana Leaf over Socialist Red Star

I was a honcho in New Left politics, one of the infamous “Chicago 7” put on trail for “inciting to riot” at the Democratic National Convention in 1968. Notice all my sentences begin with “I?” I was important.

I wrote two books: Do It!: Scenarios of a Revolution and We Are Everywhere. Baby boomers made them best-sellers. With all due modesty, I was an international pop culture celebrity.

I remained a hippie—not a rigid, old school leftist. Communist Karl Marx made sense but so did Beatnik Allen Ginsberg.

I wrote: “What would happen if the white ideological New Left took power? The hippie streets would be the first to be cleaned up by the ’socialist’ pigs. We’d be forced to get haircuts and shaves every week. We’d have to bathe every night, and we’d go to jail for saying dirty words. Sex, except to produce children for the revolution, would be illegal. Psychedelic drugs would be capitol crimes and beer drinking mandatory. Rock dancing would be taboo, and mini-skirts, Hollywood movies and comic books illegal.”

I have a right to change my mind, don’t I? Emerson or Wilde or someone once witticized: “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

In the late 1970s, I went across the board from Yippee to Yuppie—Young Urban Professional, part of the unfairly maligned baby boomer “Me Generation.”

I found my calling—a stockbroker—and was one of the early investors in Apple. I looked natty in a three-piece suit. I embraced New Age ideas and graduated from EST—Erhard Training Seminars. Counterculture wisdom taught us how capitalism, spiritualism and progressive ideas could co-exist in harmony. I made lots of harmonious money.

I’m the one who said: “When you hear IRA and think Irish Republican Army, you’re a Yippie; if you think Individual Retirement Account, you’re a Yuppie.” I could have been a stand-up. Actually, I was.

My life ended early and abruptly in 1994 when I jaywalked across busy Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles and was struck by a motorist.  Answer at end of post.

Baby Boomer Trivia Questions

The Weather Underground, a new left political group, pulled a daring prison break rescue of what figure, who became a fugitive from justice:

Eldridge Cleaver
Huey Newton
Abbie Hoffman
Tim Leary

What celebrity went to North Vietman during the Vietnam War and posed for a controversial photos sitting atop a Viet Cong anti-aircraft gun?

Warren Beatty
Jane Fonda
Joan Baez
John Lennon

Answers to Questions at end of post

This Day in Baby Boomer History

1991: Emmys: LA Law is the Best Drama. Cheers is the Best Comedy.

1990: U.S. already there. U.N. security council authorizes military action against Iraq.

1981: Mark David Chapman, the deranged killer of John Lennon, is sentenced to 20 years.

1970: Elton John makes his first U.S. appearance.

1967: Beatles go to Wales to study Transcendental Meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

1950: President Truman orders army to seize control of nation’s railroads to avert a strike.

Answers to Trivia Questions

Jerry “Never Trust Anyone Over 30” Rubin

Jane Fonda earned the nickname “Hanoi Jane” when she allowed herself to be photographed visiting the Viet-Cong in July, 1972. During an interview with Barbara Walters in 1988, she expressed regret for the photos.

The sentence was a bit excessive. Tim Leary, the pied piper of LSD, was sentenced to 20 years for violations of the Marijuana Tax Act. His possession amounted to less than half an ounce. Assigned to minimum security in 1970, he arranged to be sprung by the Weatherman. He landed in Algeria, then Switzerland, and ended up in Afghanistan where he was arrested by a U.S. federal agent. The former Harvard professor spent three years in jail before Governor Jerry Brown ordered his release in 1976.

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  1. on December 13th, 2011 at 10:26 am

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