I regard science fiction as the entry drug into the
psychedelic world. If by nine, ten, eleven or twelve, you’re reading science
fiction, then you’re probably lost to normality.
The hippy generation was the first
to grow up aware of the awesome power unleashed upon this planet by our
scientists and politicians. We learned the wonders of science had
a downside too. So science fiction became our guide to the endless
possible scenarios that we could create for ourselves.
From mutant monsters to alien warnings
to intergalactic expeditions to robotic civilizations, sci-fi explores
what could be, how we would handle it and what that reveals about us.
It answers the most intriguing question; What if? Hippies raised
with the Star Trek meme know that there is a better future out there, we
just have to make it happen.
Science Fiction Books
Aldous Huxley – Author, mystic, visionary.
Wrote some fine books, including Brave New World. On his deathbed
just before dying, he requested and received a final dose of LSD.
Ray Bradbury – Famous Author of the
George Orwell – Bleak outlook motivated
Farm and 1984.
Great social critic.
Phillip K. Dick – Author of Do
Androids Dream of Electric Sheep –
made into Blade Runner.
Influenced many a cyberpunk. Philip K. Dick Website
William Gibson – leader of the cyberpunk
movement, coined the term cyberspace.
Arthur C. Clarke
Science Fiction Movies
science fiction movies echo hippie themes, and perhaps influenced the movement.
Invaders from Mars – The original was frightening in the 50’s. Imagine: Your parents
are under alien control and they don’t love you anymore and you’re next!
Was this a premonition of the alienation our generation was soon to feel?
Real creepy scenes underground with aliens. The remake sucks.
The Day the Earth Stood Still – Michael Rennie as the alien ambassador, Patricia Neal as the woman who
utters the fateful words Gort, Klaatu Barada Nicto, and saves the earth.
Aliens want us to stop our nuclear weapons programs (sound familiar?),
and threaten our annihilation if we don’t. Excellent film, well acted,
good screenplay, and Gort is scary. Christ analogy with Rennie as
Jesus and Gort, as … you guessed it an avenging God.
– This fabulous telling of the Tempest story starring Leslie Nielsen and
Walter Pidgeon holds up well today. The story of a great civilization
undermined by it’s animal desires. Great effects, futuristic sets
and a cool robot make this a classic. O.K., I’m ready for that brain
2001: A Space Odyssey
– You must be a hippie if you saw this more than once with appropriate
enhancement. Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrik combined to make
a stunning portrait of man in space. Can we trust a machine capable
of thought? Good effects for its day. It still plays
well for the 59th time.
Silent Running –
Starring Bruce Dern as the caretaker of the only remaining forests in domes
on a spacecraft. Given orders to destroy the domes, he makes the
ultimate sacrifice. Ecologically timely for 1971. Music by
Star Trek Series – The movies like the TV shows present a set of values to which every good
hippie can aspire. themes include peace, tolerance, non-violence
(only use those photon torpedos when you have to!), interracial and interspecies
cooperation, responsibility for all life and even economic equality.
They focus on the good uses for science. Travel to brave new worlds,
meet other weird life forms, and if they don’t kill you or eat you, you
can befriend them. But remember the prime directive!
Science Fiction TV Shows
Rod Serling’s screenplays (and others) run the gamut from amusing aliens
to terrifying children to fascism. Well written and acted these stories
influenced young minds to ponder situations that could only exist in that
place slightly removed from reality – the Twilight Zone. With the
assistance of substances organic and inorganic, hippies were soon to explore
such realms far removed from the everyday. Lots of social commentary.
Outer Limits –
A bit more out there than the Twilight Zone, the Outer Limits focused less
on social commentary, with more emphasis on cheap special effects and the
Trek – The TV series which spawned
a cult. Are trekkies hippies? The shows evolved from the fisticuffs
of Captain Kirk to the tolerant diplomatic ways of Captain Piccard.
X-Files – Another cult series. Very suspenseful and weird. The theme
of government conspiracies and cover-ups is standard hippie fare.
Bizarre creatures and aliens add interest. Mulder’s willingness to
put his life on the line in his quest for truth is inspiring.
5– This show also has a
cult following. The ongoing intricate plot is very absorbing.
Strong alien characters make the show, along with excellent special effects.
– Mystery Science Theater 3000. An off-the-wall spoof of old scifi
and horror movies. Mike and his android friends provide obscure commentary
that will have you laughing your ass off.
Sci-Fi Channel – In addition to showing some of the best Sci-Fi movies
and TV series, the Sci-Fi Channel now has several new series worth checking
Posted by: skip