Re: Diggers & Yippies & Weather (oh my!)

Jeffrey Apfel (
Fri, 2 Feb 1996 17:03:09 -0500

You wrote:

>From: Michael Wm. Doyle <>
>Subject: Diggers & Yippies

>This is in response to Jeffrey Apfel's 31 Jan. 1996 posting to Aron
>Kay's account of Yippie pie-throwing.

>[snip] Thus the activities and alternative institutions
>associated with the New York Diggers and later, to a lesser extent,
>Yippies, were innovated on the West coast and swiftly reproduced on
>East coast.

I'm wondering if you have any feel for the second question I posed, the
connection if any between Diggier/Yippie pies and an Action Faction
(pre-Weather) pie? The connection could be in terms of actual people
or it could simply be an appropriation of the concept. Or it could
just be an interesting metaphor. . . .or just coincidental.

Metaphorically, I find the parallel interesting for reasons in part
related to some of the discussion here on the Haight, summer of love,
etc. Deepak seems to be resonating to the media-fed view (my own view,
in fact, as a suburban white kid in 1967) that it was all about peace
and love. And yet, even on this group, there is disagreement among
people who were actually there (I was not) about whether it was a
downer, a glorious time or both.

The most prevalent view (like the Woodstock/good. . .Altamont/bad myth)
is that the summer started out wonderful but somehow got spoiled by . .
.by whom? Ah, the media! No, the Establishment! No, the pre-yuppie
hippie capitalists spoiling the Digger vision! My own view,
paraphrasing Von Hoffman's book title cited here, is that we were the
people we warned ourselves about.

To me, the memory of the sixties that many repress is that of the
irrational bursting out into public life. Not that some people don't
recall it, just that it often seems handed down in a whitewashed form.
The genius and tragedy of the era, it seems to me, lies in this
embracing of the irrational which, even in the setting of the summer of
love, could take a very manacing form.

Thus, while I never met a Digger, the Drawing Boards conference, as
described by Gitlin, Grogan, Hoffman, von Hoffman and others, shows a
very dark side to these saints of the Haight. Likewise, I remember
being at a coonference in early 1968 that was essentially taken over by
the Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers--they were full of challenge and
menace. As I read it, some in that group went on to Weather
connections. . .

You can see where I'm going here, maybe. Trying to draw a line
connecting the heart of the summer of love with the crazed
irrationality of early 1970'w Weather politics. Any thoughts?