What have the hippies ever done for us? Well....prepare for a wild trip as today's special guest Matthew Ingram takes us back to the summer of love, and shows how it changed forever our ideas about, and practices of, wellness, medicine, and health. His upcoming book Retreat is an enthralling and immersive history, the first book to trace the connections between the 60s and 70s counterculture and health and wellness.
The counterculture of the Sixties and the Seventies is remembered chiefly for music, fashion, art, feminism, black power, and the New Left. But an until-now unexplored, yet no less important, aspect is its relationship with health.
As debates about the provision of healthcare rage across the US in 2020, few know that the hippies of Haight-Ashbury were providing free community healthcare in 1967. The Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic was founded in that year, and resulted in a much larger legacy in the form of the nationwide institution the Free Clinic, unique in a country without provision for the neediest in society.
That is just one of countless fascinating examples in the head-spinning trip which Matthew Ingram takes us on in Retreat. Ingram connects the dots between the beats, yoga, meditation, psychedelics, psychoanalysis, Eastern philosophy, sex, and veganism, showing how the hippies still have a lot to teach us about our wellbeing.
Matthew Ingram has thrown raves in West Africa, written for Teletubbies, was fleetingly in the electronic band The Black Dog, created the cult music blog Woebot, has written for the Wire and FACT magazines, set up the Dissensus forum, and has put out a series of LPs. His "Vitamin C" animated documentary was shown at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival.