Flyer announcing a 1997 screening of the film Herbert's Hippopotamus

Herbert's Hippopotamus: A Story about Revolution in Paradise

time code table
compiled by Harold Marcuse
(Harold's UCSB homepage)

on the Sound and Video Page of the
Official Herbert Marcuse website
,
created June 10, 2005; updated 12/11/06, 7/15/13


Page Intro
Film availability

Part I (2:30)
Philosophy in May [1968]

Part II (14:50)
Pleasure in Paradise
Part III (29:10)
Power and Play
Minute-by-minute
description
Part IV (40:40)
Tolerance and Torments
Part V (50:00)
Pin-Ups & Public Icons
Part VI (58:20)
Pacts & Preservations

Introduction: Film availability (back to top)

  • Herbert's Hippopotamus is a 1 hour 9 minute documentary video made by UCSD film student Paul Alexander Juutilainen in 1996. It examines Herbert at UCSD mainly from 1968 to 1969
    • The film can be purchased from www.cinemaguild.com (cinemaguild's H's Hippo page): Gary Crowdus, The Cinema Guild, 130 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10016-7038, Phone: (212) 685-6242 (purchase: $295; rental: $95).
    • Conveniently available in full on youtube uploaded in March 2011. (50:40 mins)(3160 views on 7/16/13).
      • [The original link to the google video version, http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5311625903124176509, became defunct after Google video was shut down in August 2012, after most things were migrated to YouTube, which google purchased in October 2006.]
    • The entire film is available in streaming media (.ram format) on Doug Kellner's critical theory website.
      • smaller version (better for slower computers and connections)
      • higher quality version for high-speed connections
      • NOTE: Many people let me know that they have trouble viewing this on-line version. There are many potential bottlenecks:
        1. your internet connection isn't fast enough to buffer smoothly
        2. your browser or media playing software isn't advanced enough
        3. your computer is too slow to accept the massive data stream
        4. the internet or UCLA server is too busy (not enough bandwidth)
      • You may be able to use the table below as a guide where to start or restart the streaming video
    • Finally, the film is available through interlibrary loans from UCSB and on-campus at UCSD (search melvyl by title, or search UCSB's pegasus library database).
  • I'd summarize the 6 parts of the film as follows:
    • I: May 1968--how Herbert became a symbolic leader of the protest movement
    • II: Herbert as a person and teacher (again at end of part III: 1930s)
    • III: Trying to isolate and intimidate Herbert
    • IV: Use of violence, resolution of getting rid of Herbert
    • V: Angela's trial, dealing with civil disobedience
    • VI: Aftermath & Legacy
  • My most favorite parts (among many!) of this film are:
    • 25:00-33:50 with all sorts of superb documentary footage (recruiter, KCET interview, George Winnie, Admiral Gehres, Reagan Berkeley press conference, Spiro Agnew)
    • 42:20-46:20 with May 24, 1968 KCET film/interview about violence

Time-code guide to the film (back to top)

0:00

Benjamin quotation: "Only for the sake of those without hope is hope given to us."

0:40

Bringing down effigy of "Marxist Marcuse" after hanging in front of San Diego city hall

1:10

Title: Story of the Revolution in Paradise

1:20

airplanes flying over San Diego

1:40

Photo of Herbert in Danish philosophy book: philosophy as a media event:
"Could San Diego tell me something about Marcuse?"

2:20

Rodin's Thinker on UCSD campus

2:30

Part I: Philosophy in May [1968] (back to top)

2:40

Angela Davis, age 24 in 1968, academic and activist between civil rights and Vietnam

3:40

documentary footage of Paris, 1968 / Andy Feenberg commentary: Herbert named responsible. Articles: "Idol of rebelling students." French national strike of 10 million: aparked by a book?

4:40

One-Dimensional Man: not working class, but marginal groups are rev. subject

5:00

interview KCET May 24, 1968 "Herbert Marcuse, Philosopher of the New Left" at UCSD, with sunglasses. Why discomfort? -destruction on construction, etc. "Casting all that aside"

6:40

1967 quotation: "The need for better TV sets, better automobiles … The simple refusal to take part in affluent society.

6:50

cut to navy gunboat Flagstaff in 1968, military stuff: marching soldiers

7:40

Herbert at a NY discussion with H. Rap Brown, known for incendiary quotation "Violence is as American as apple pie".
San Diego newspapers go nuts: "Marcuse calls for sabotage of US society"

8:00

McGill, chancellor UCSD 1968-70 inauguration at UCSD, paid ad demands firing Marcuse

8:20

McGill interview 1990s: Not H's books, but he served as role model;
cartoon of radicals undermining university

9:40

tape of American legionaire Harry Foster, Aug. 11, 1968: "Rome, Paris - Marcuse was there"

10:25

McGill 1990s and KOGO Aug. 12, 1968: buy out Marcuse's contract for $20,000, American Legion letter sent to regents and press as well. Lots of articles about getting rid of Herbert

11:50

Alex: Why did Herbert come to San Diego?

12:00

French Magazine picture: Marcuse & Lettau, interview with German farm footage. Lettau hated San Diego, but Marcuse liked it. Lettau had to leave Germany [in 60s?], offer from UCSD, asked Herbert. SD: complete antithesis to gray and blunt Europe.

13:40

shots of beach, neighbors Carlos & Iris Blanco. [Frederic Jameson]

14:10

1967 quote: "education today must … mind and body, reason and imagination, the intellectual and instinctual needs"

14:50

Part II: Pleasure in Paradise (back to top)

15:00

Angela Davis Dec. 18, 1991 CSPAN footage at Harvard JFK school, and today, about occupation of chancellor's office for Lumumba/Zapata college. Would Herbert come along? Of course! And he was first one physically in the building.

16:00

May 16, 1969 news footage. [March 14, 1969 student demand; founded 1970; 1993 renamed for Thurgood Marshall]. Reflect academic & community needs of African, Latino communities

16:40

McGill interview then: can't just break the door down

16:55

McGill today: don't meet sit-in with force; they even paid for the door, anonymous money order.

17:30

Blancos (Carlos: Prof. of Lit; Iris: grad. student 1970-72) Herbert paid for the door. Herbert said: you must teach me.

18:50

study Plato but also Fanon; Herbert's humility--very rare.
He would read their suggestions and talk about in lecture the next day

19:25

Angela today, with photo then. March 23, 1969 NYT Book review "Philosopher of the New Left"

19:40

Peter Zelin, "tenured student" 1971-1988, re: hippos: "bizarre animal" embodied absurdity

20:20

Paige Dubois, prof. lit. UCSD, on Eros & Civ.

21:00

Zelin re: Paris: "demand the impossible."

21:35

Zelin re: hippos; hippos wallowing, crucial to the environment, link land and river, Dept. of Defense research more offensive than hippos

22:00

Juutilainen: Barry Shapiro (grad. student 1966-69) looking in office window. Gave speeches from benches in plaza below. Herbert's office always open; Huntley-Brinkley TV news showing GIs lighting Vietnamese huts on fire

23:40

Reinhard Lettau: said put body on the line. On recruiting: he hit an officer, was suspended for 5 days, no salary for month

24:40

Feb. 25, 1969 interview with Lettau: Military violates university. Who is violence against? Interviewer: Isn't it disruptive of university?

25:00

Marine recruiter called to talk, vote by acclamation to allow, chants of "fascist"

26:00

What is the purpose of being in Vietnam? chanting "peace now"

26:20

quote 1966: "Defense of life involves not only the protest against neo-colonial war and slaughter, the fight for civil rights, but also the refusal to speak the dead language of afflence, to wear clean clothes, to go through the educational of affluence"

26:40

Marcuse re: violence, then interviewer: disruptive activity harms university? HM: if stops war, more than justified

27:00

fountain; Zelin re: George Winnie, 23, self-immolation.

28:00

Oct. 3, 1969 rally

28:30

Admiral Gehres May 30, 1969 speech recording: Marcuse calls for dictatorship; shot of Angela Davis & Herbert at protest

29:10

Part III: Power and Play (back to top)

29:25

McGill (today) re: Reagan then: nice guy vs. mean spirit, hard-bitten

30:00

McGill: Reagan had no understanding of ideological concerns, idealism;
May 21, 1969 Reagan press conference at Berkeley: Just tell students this is private property. Prof: we must listen to the students. Reagan walks out.

30:15

Zelin: Herbert on Reagan, against rationalization of education (article title), instead: imagination, creativity

30:55

Reagan re: "dogs of war".

31:00

McGill: Reagan said he knew all about Communists from Hollywood days: they understand only force, he won't negotiate.

31:40

McGill: We can't ride roughshod over students

32:30

Barry Shapiro: Herbert internationally respected professor, not a communist.
News clipping with Shapiro's commentary

32:50

Spiro Agnew (VP 1969-73) on Robert Dornan show: Marcuse poisoned lots of young minds with drivel. We should train young people to be productive citizens, not to examine motives of human beings

33:30

Herbert Schiller, prof. communication, UCSD. Herbert had only pen, no real threat

33:50

Death threats. LA Times, July 26, 1969: Marcuse will still teach in fall.

34:50

Shapiro: we carried arms (Malcolm X, Apr. 68 MLK assassinated, June 68 RFK).
July: HM death threat, fled from San Diego home to central California

35:50

Andrew Feenberg, SDSU Philosophy Dept, re: Herbert's work for CIA in 1940s. / lots of article texts, LA Times West, July 27, 1969 with caricature

36:20

Alex: what were origins of Herbert's popularity

36:30

walking up stairs of Frankfurt Institute for Social Research

37:20

origins in 1930s. Herbert's passport from Frankfurt archive,
US immigration stamp Apr. 30, 1934.

38:20

reading death threat postcards "to anarchist, aetheist murderer getting paid by people of Calif.," Hitler was right after all, Herbert should go to Russia, …

39:40

KKK letter: "dirty communist pig" "72 hours to live, then we will kill you"

40:20

read last line of One-Dimensional Man: Benjamin quotation "It is only for the sake of those without hope that we hope is given to us"

40:40

Part IV: Tolerance and Torments (back to top)

40:50

Lettau: police followed him home

41:10

Davis, arrest of her sister Fania, husband Sam was shot (footage of arrest);
Herbert raised Fania's bail

42:20

GREAT sunglasses interview again: violence does good, theory of violence as virtue. Herbert: have to consider motives and objectives

42:40

Herbert contradicts interviewer: violence of defense NOT violence of aggression

43:00

May 9, 1969 anti-war demonstration. Shapiro: violence of state much greater

43:50

sunglasses interview on violence: who loses it is sick

44:20

UCSD name reading; on TV: US Army's body count: US 177, ARVN 284, Enemy 1487

45:15

interview: Paris was counterviolence

46:20

Interviewer: "Aha, now I have it." Herbert: NO I don’t advocate violence!!

46:

Alex: could Herbert forget the lesson of Hitler gaining power in the 1930s?

46:55

Lettau on Reagan

47:20

footage of silent demonstration against Reagan

47:40

McGill; Reagan: they don't understand, regents don't want to destroy university

48:40

Blancos

49:

students mock regents, mock execution

50:00

Part V: Pin-Ups and Public Icons (back to top)

50:10

student solidarity "strike" for student killed at Berkeley May 1969. McGill: close it down

51:00

McGill today: he had 2 dozen arrested for blocking his office. He wouldn't let governor, nor students interfere with faculty governance

51:50

Dean Murphy had protesters against CIA recruiting photographed and arrested

53:00

McGill would put "SOB" faculty [Lettau] in jail for 21 days (or $2000 fine). Lettau interview

53:40

Herbert speaking Oct. 24, 1969 at Berkeley: fight against oppression in university is beginning; university as institution of oppression

54:30

news report: Angela Davis fired from UCLA. Angela,
Carlos Blanco: Angela's politics didn't matter to Herbert

55:50

freedom for Angela

56:10

Angela, 26, professor, on FBI's 10 most wanted list because of Soledad shootout.
June 5, 1972 footage of trial.

56:50

Feenberg on playboy interview: Herbert said only if he could be the centerfold.
Footage of Sept. 1970 Playboy issue.

57:00

Lettau on philosophers--some of his best friends are. They take nothing for granted.

58:00

all united against Herbert: American Legion, Pope, Pravda, Agnew, Reagan--all feared this youth corrupter

58:20

Last Part (VI): Pacts and Preservations (back to top)

58:30

Feb. 16, 1969: McGill must decide fate of Herbert: He'll reappoint for 1969-70

59:00

McGill: question was: How to retire him with dignity.

60:00

Feb. 16, 1969 KSDT tape recording: Herbert phoned in answer to McGill: teacher must tell truth

60:50

Feb. 16, 1969: Legionaire Harry Foster: oust McGill and Marcuse; also Assemblymember Stull

61:00

Colonel Fred Stevens, April 9, 1969 "Citizens against Campus Anarchy" against Marxist Marcuse

61:30

Zelin at office: Herbert, as emeritus, taught seminars under auspices of other professors

62:10

McGill today: not just for Herbert; there must be mandatory retirement age to get fresh blood into system

63:00

McGill: Herbert died 3-4 years later; Juutilainen: actually 10 more years

63:

McGill became president of Columbia, Reagan was reelected governor of California

64:00

Kent State; immolation of George Winne; Herbert calls for "long march through the institutions"

64:40

TV interview: he never consdiered himself "father" of new left--did they understand him?

65:30

Herbert just missed Reagan's election to presidency

66:00

Alex: disgust of affluence replaced by fear of impoverishment. What should we remember about 1968-69?

66:20

1978 quotation on remembrance: "All reification is a forgetting: In contrast, remembrance spurs the drive for the conquest of suffering and the permanence of joy."

66:40

looking through postcards of San Diego. Long shot of Herbert(?) from behind, walking across lawn toward campus building

67:50

Alex with shot of Herbert, recording of hippos


page created by H. Marcuse on June 10, 2005; updated: see header [typos fixed 9/16/08]
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