Sunday, May 28, 2006

Neo-Greens and the Hippie sacrifice...

Pity the hippies, so utterly and completely unhip since 1966. They're still around, neo-hippies, in tight-knit little social circles and crocheted pockets west of the Pecos and north of Boston. Nobody wants them, especially not the Greenies. Everyone has distanced themselves from the smelly, silly hippies with their ideals and hairy armpits too unruly to tame. Even the hippies don't like the hippies. What a mess. They made the mistake of being too loose, too liberal, too spiritual, too rustic, too druggy, too empathetic, too irresponsible, too rebellious, too happy, too susceptible to vice, too dirty. Too too.

In fact, it's almost impossible to define what a hippie is, beyond the purely superficial. No real manifestoes, no real declared leaders, no real political voice. Though there were certainly a multitude of hazy efforts at all of the above. Too vague! I mean look, if you start comparing London hippies in 1966 with San Francisco hippies in 1969 with Los Angeles hippies in 1974, you're going to get a headache. (Bad branding! We can't sell to this!) You know who loved punk rock? The Man. The Neo-cons. Big Business. Anyone who had a vested interest in getting those sloppy anti-capitalists out of the mainstream.

I have a friend who is working on a big "catch-the-trend-while-it's-hot-hot-hot" green project. The first thing he says when describing it is what it's not: "It's not a hippie sort of green, it's the "new" green." I take that to mean the kind of green where you're carpets stay white because no freeloving, barefoot tree-huggers are invited to your spanking green Bar-B-Que.

Somewhere along the line the concept of "green" and hippies became synonymous. In the new green, marketing and branding trumps the old green's mescaline and bran buds. The new green has a business plan and a profit margin. The hippies had the limp old green - hemp overalls and small potatoes. They're lame. To the hippies, green was a way of re-envisioning life on earth. To us, is it just another way of repackaging our bad habits?

Of course, there is no neo-green movement without the so-called hippies. Many bright pioneering souls in the 60's and 70's saw (or sensed) the world was in trouble and they sought solutions that seemed logically, morally, and in many ways emotionally sound. They had very few facts. Just a gut instinct. And yes, they had long hair and listened to rock and roll and took drugs and talked about big ideas. They were pissed off at the government. These people were lumped in with the mindless drop outs, sexaholics, causeless rebels and bellbottom gods.

The most egregious sin: Hippies take bad photos. Frizzy, unkempt hair freaks out a lot of people. Hippies lose sight of themselves. It might have felt good to be standing on a street corner, naked and talking to God, but hey, everyone else thought you were crazy. And you probably were. Hippies may have paved the way for a cleaner healthier future, but they were dirty and broke and had to be sacrificed. Like the Native Americans. They just didn't fit the program.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you think that pushing the native americans out was acceptable think again. you said they just didnt fit the program? WHOS PROGRAM? the european asses who thought that they could go and do what they wanted, and get rid of anyone in their way. how would you like it if someone came to your house and told you that they liked the look of it, so you have to leave? the hippies that dropped out, did so because they didnt want to fuel the same society that was supporting the vietnam war etc. what better way than to refuse to support a murderous nation? even now, we see this sick war in the middle east, and what do we actually do about it? nothing. what did the hippies do about the vietnam war? as much as they could, which is probably more than you can say for yourself.

4:31 PM  

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