Think For Yourself And Question Authority


While poking around the web doing some Ivy Style research, I came across this photo from the days of the Ivy twilight.

Pictured above at right is Timothy Leary — just a name to an Xer like myself and perhaps wholly foreign to Millennial readers. But Leary — who was a Harvard professor and advocate for the use of LSD — coined a number of cachphrases that came to symbolize the late 1960s, when the worlds of Camelot and “Mad Men” were about to become a distant memory.

Leary coined the phrase “Turn on, tune in, drop out” — which is actually pretty good advice for these crazy times we live in — and “Think for yourself and question authority,” which is what college students do today, more or less.

A documentary about Leary and spiritual guru Ram Dass, narrated by Robert Redford, is presently making the rounds at small theaters and festivals. — CC

17 Comments on "Think For Yourself And Question Authority"

  1. The person on the left is Dr. Richard Alpert, a Harvard professor. His father, George was the last President of the New Haven Railroad and his brother was a Wall Street attorney.

    He later became Babu Ram Dass, or, as his brother called him, “Baby Rammed Ass”.

    Timothy Leary went on to take his show on the road, with G. Gordon Liddy (after he was released from prison) as the other part of the act.

  2. Modern day context: they’re dressed like devoted members of the Federalist Society. Fogeyish.

  3. I would love to have been a fly on the shoulders of these guys to listen in on their conversations. Skinny ties and beater cars. My kinda …..

  4. Some people seem to be missing the point. The picture in this article is before they fried their brains with drugs after which they mutated into their later freak versions and encouraged others to fry their brains and turn into freaks.

    They were normal people before they started using drugs. Every jean wearing backpacking toting brain mutated freak you pass on the street is their fault. If they had never existed, everyone would still look like normal people.

  5. Roycru: If I remember correctly Camille Paglia made a related point about college professors, that the true radicals, the really interesting thinkers (agree or disagree with them) fried their brains with drugs, and the “radicals” that took over university faculties were the tag-along hacks, the lackeys of the real radicals that were too chickenshit to do hard psychotropic drugs themselves while advocating for their use.

    At least these two had the guts to practice what they preached, even if their lives turned into cautionary tales. The problem is one man’s cautionary tale is another’s example to be followed.

  6. Shorty after Leary made his pronouncement in 1966, Mad Magazine (always poking fun at the quality of network television) was quick to distribute a sticker for readers to be affixed to their TV set that read “Turn On, Tune In, Throw Up!”

  7. Charlottesville | October 3, 2016 at 3:36 pm |

    James — The Mad Magazine cover I liked best from that era was “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Dead,” which can be seen here: . However, either version is an appropriate comment on clothing circa 1968 or so.

  8. Before reading this article, I just finished reading the one about the student from Columbia having a run-in with the thought police. Absolutely harrowing to see the Ancient Eight become bastions of PC culture and regressive politics. It seems as though they tried to undo their years of exclusivity but they took it to the extreme and now look at them. As for the two men pictured, Roycru summed it perfectly as did DCG’s reiterating of Camille Paglia’s remarks. If only all the feminists were like her and Christina Hoff Sommers.

  9. I’m a professor at Leary’s alma mater. The university certainly doesn’t celebrate him.

  10. I thought by now someone would have mentioned the song Legend Of A Mind (1968) by Pink Floyd. It was written about Timothy Leary.

  11. The other George | October 4, 2016 at 9:46 am |

    If anyone wants to drop some acid and listen to the song it’s by The Moody Blues not Pink Floyd.

  12. Was at a dinner party with G. Gordon Liddy post Watergate. Interesting guy.

  13. James Kraus: The Moody Blues, not Floyd.

  14. (Sorry, just noticed that The Other George beat me to the punch with the correction.)

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