I thought that “yellow journalism” had a reputation as bad as Lobsinger. I thought it had gone out with the Hearst newspapers, that its only remains were in such rags as the Inquirer. I was wrong.The Fifth Estate has become, in recent issues, the worst piece of journalism that I have ever seen. The early editions seemed promising as spokesmen for Detroit’s youth.
But lately its writers have committed the crimes of limitation of viewpoint, intolerance with listening to ideas different from their own, of shoddy (not shitty) reporting of news.
Your reliance on obscenities to color stories, most frequent in your “riot” issue, August 1, is a poor excuse for accurate and honest news reporting. The Fifth Estate writers must have had their brains looted during that event that they so vividly distorted.
Patricia J. Williams
To the Editor:
How hypocritical can you people, hippies, be? I am referring to the fact that the Trans-Love Energies office sported a sign, “Burn, Baby, Burn,” outside its window. This represents the hippie idea of Love?
Also, how about the report that hippies were among the looters and were saying that take-and-don’t-give attitude it what should be like; while down on Plum Street (Hippieland) there were armed guards protecting the stores from just such looters? You can take everybody elses but you had better leave mine alone!
Then there is head hippie, John Sinclair, crying in the July 15–31 issue of your paper about things being stolen from the Artists Workshop; while in the next issue he tells us all about Love and how great it is for the “people” to loot, burn and kill because that is Love, baby.
Forget all about the morality of the killings and burnings in Vietnam because the “good guys” during the riot were on your side and didn’t take any of your things, burn your store or kill your friends, Mister Sinclair. Such atrocities are all right now, aren’t they?
With hippies like these, who needs enemies?
Dear John Sinclair:
I hear most of the things you say in the Coatpuller, but the last one somehow misses the usual mark. Sorry, friend.
Gary R. Gruber
Editor’s Note: The riot was an interesting week if only to witness the attitudes of certain Fifth Estate readers.
The charges of “distortion” seem to fly most furiously from our white suburban friends who spent the insurrection days in complete safety while Fifth Estate people were in the middle of the trouble area collecting stories and photographs.
One question: why do you think our accounts were distortions? Because you read something different in the Detroit News?
Also, people seemed to object to what they quaintly call “four-letter words.” My first reaction is tell these folks to go to Reader’s Digest and their delicate ears will not be offended. But that is not what is crucial. What is, is that these obscenities were all quotes, mostly from the Detroit Police and the concern was not with the outrageous treatment of prisoners by those entrusted with law enforcement, but with our quoting what happened in real life
Sorry if we disturbed you, friends, go back to your rock gardens and bar-b-ques and maybe we will have a more cheery issue next time. —P.W.
To The Editor:
It looks like the people are trying to take over the government up there. And it just might not be a bad idea for them to do so either.
Max L. Hardeman
To the editor:
For the benefit of those interested, here is what I believe the “Hippie” movement to stand for.
Hippies are by no means any more anarchistic in thought than was Christ, for they are in no way advocating complete disregard for existing human principles or philosophies, but rather, are accepting those which advocate Love and Harmony of existence, from Judaism and Buddhism to Christianity and Zen.
All of that which is important to our existence in the Universe, and rejecting those which would be in effect for either an unnatural existence or an existence under unnatural conditions.
Basically, through the vibrations of love can man find himself and his place in nature.
Cherry Hill, N.J.
Dear Fifth Estaters:
After reading your July 15–31 issue I see an avenue for the Vietnam Summer Movement to take into Fall and 1968.
How about a movement toward getting a national referendum pro and con the Vietnam war. I would tie in with the presidential elections and bring out a reasonable voter participation. The contribution could be enormous toward ending this S.E. Asia farce, getting some Americans up off their apathy and showing some candidates colors.
Letter to the Editors:
The recent whinings in the mass media about the alleged “chromosome damage” supposed to be suffered by LSD users has moved me to offer some evidence to the contrary.
It should be known that these obvious scare tactics are designed only to frighten young people away from acid, because the so-called establishment is itself scared to death of LSD—those people know that LSD is the major revolutionary force in the country now and is turning millions of young people away from the established order. No matter what the so called “experts” say, the truth is that literally millions of people have been enabled, through the use of LSD and other psychedelics, to see through the bullshit lies their elders have handed them.
They’ve been able to understand that capitalism, competition, materialism, drinking, girdles, Herb Alpert, Doris Day, and the war in Vietnam, among many other ugly manifestations of American “civilization,” are totally unnecessary and anti-human. These youngsters are learning, as few people my age have learned, that money doesn’t have anything to do with people except as people make it a term in their lives.
This enlightenment has made them (the young people) the most dangerous anti-“American” force in the country today. You can shoot and jail “rioting spades,” all right, but the judges and police and lawyers and other legal leeches can’t quite see that panacea as a possibility for dealing with their own precious kiddies!
The point is that the “experts” with their phony statistics and old wives’ tales are trying to scare you off with their “chromosome damage” articles. My wife gave birth to the healthiest, most beautiful baby girl I’ve ever seen three months ago, after dropping acid throughout her pregnancy. She stopped at about six months because the physical changes, the intense meat-energy charge that is characteristic of the LSD experience, were too strong for her body. Up to that point she had no trouble at all, and our shared trips added a really beautiful dimension to her pregnancy. I don’t mean to recommend that anyone else should drop acid while she’s pregnant, or that anyone should drop acid at all—that should be, and is, up to each one of you—but I would recommend that you not be frightened away from a possible LSD trip by the paranoid ravings of establishment hacks.
I’ve dropped acid enough times by now to know that I know what it’s about, and to know from reading what they say that the self styled “experts” don’t. If you think about it for a minute, you’ll realize that they are extremely self interested-they have a way of life to protect against the truth.
It seems that they’ll do everything in their power to maintain that way of life. They already have done some of the most inhuman things you can think of to make sure that their “society” will perpetrate itself, and they’re too far gone to stop now. Just don’t believe them, that’s all.
To the editor:
Radicals who campaign for liberal Democrats even when the contest is only of local importance are fools and will soon be sorry.
Last summer I was interested in seeing how the Democratic machine actually worked at the molecular level and I agreed to be an assistant campaign manager for State Senator Basil Brown. He seemed as good a liberal as one could hope for.
He was from the black minority and represented a nitty gritty district of that minority. He had been instrumental in killing a stop and frisk law and the Conservative Establishment was doing all it could to break him.
We won the election easily but a year later the same liberal had on his patriotic suit. He was leading a loyalty parade to “support our boys” (by getting them killed in Johnson’s War), and he was shaking hands (literally) with the John Birch Society and Breakthrough.
It was Humphrey being palsy-walsy with Ax Handle Maddox. It was Adlai spinning lies at the United Nations. It was JFK invading Cuba.
Only proving: a liberal is a liberal is a liberal and a radical who supports a liberal is a fool is a fool is a fool.