Hippies… again

Among my friends there are some twenty and thirty somethings who say they are hippies. At first when they mentioned it I was kind of pleased. Since staying current and never being “old school” seems to be important I’d pretty much assumed the whole hippie thing interested only people my age and I got a kick out of it that they wanted to be hippies. Over time though I started waffling between that pleasure and a little bit of discomfort that they don’t mean what I do when they talk about hippies.

Now, to be honest, I’m a tad young in the hippie thing so I made the tail end of the Viet Nam war protests and hung with the hippie crowd on campus, but I missed the height of it all in the mid to late sixties. And my experience was that collegiate, anti-war side of the whole thing. The flower child/ hang out and be loose thing I knew of more from movies and documentaries than personal experience and my only encounter with the opt-out-of-society/back-to-the-land types was a bitter one while living in a small commune in the late seventies. So, my view of what it meant to be a hippie is circumscribed.

But for us it was more than wearing faded jeans and shirts from India and opting out of mainstream society – we were devoted to ending the war and very politicized. It changed my whole academic focus so that I studied economics and political science and sociology in search of “the” truth about power in this country and what form of government and/or economic system would be better. The air buzzed as we tossed out lofty ideas, marched for peace and believed we could change the world.

When I look at pictures or films of those days I feel that kind of nostalgia where your whole body is back in those times. For me, it’s a time of excitement and camaraderie and the sense of doing important things that could make a difference. And when I hear the young ones now who say they’re hippies, I don’t have the same sense. When I talk to them about it, I don’t feel like they are resonating to my sense of what was. When I searched through pictures on the internet to find one for this post, I found I could tell with very high accuracy which photos were of new hippies and which really came from the sixties and it wasn’t that I was looking closely at the styles they were wearing or other tells. It was just how they felt to me.

I don’t really care whether younger people want to call themselves hippies, but I am curious whether I’m the only old days hippie who feels like they don’t get who we were. ???

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7 thoughts on “Hippies… again

  1. Did I say i love the name of your blog? I think not, Its brilliant and so describes a person I would like to know.

    Thank you for your kind words. It is true your friends are no doubt an alternative generational hippies.
    I have a 19 year old granddaughter that Ii knew was an old soul when she was just a toddler discovering she was actually independent of her mom, my oldest daughter.

    My granddaughter is an alternative generational hippie. though not someone who lived through Flower Power & the Summer of Love she & others who have the same values and belief systems as myself certainly should be proud to own being referred to as a hippie. She rather likes it and has since she was 12 yrs old when she made choice she tells now.

    Hippie is not the dirty word so many make it out to be. Hippie haters to be exact! Though I can say I am grateful to one hater for this is how I found your blog which I adore. ~ BB

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    • Oh, thanks so much. I like this title so well I’ve thought about combining this blog with my main blog (Notes from the Bluegrass) and giving it all this name. Your granddaughter sounds cool. I saw that blog by the hippie hater (since I was notified that he listed my post) — angry sounding guy. Glad you found me.

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      • I have found sweet revenge in this.That through this hippie haters blog I found this lovely peaceful blog of yours. I think its quite hysterical really. Perfect justice I’d say which feels better actually than revenge.

        I will look forward Leigh to peeking into your bluegrass blog, a genre of music I happen to adore.

        Be expressed always my friend~

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  2. Fabulous post!
    I am a life long hippie chic approaching her 60;s that would not be the 1960’s although I was certainly there.
    I have been tagged a hippie since my freshman year of high-secondary school and I never objected I was actually quite proud. I still am.

    Being a hippie has nothing to do with the clothes i wear, or that my hair is still long enough to reach my fanny. I have not worn short hair for long I am sure i would become bottom heavy should iI cut it. None of this makes me a hippie.

    My way of life, my belief systems, my love for my fellow and sister companions of this universe,and my continued hope for peace and universal love are just a few of things that make me being proud of being this life long hippie chock with long hair.

    Thank you for giving me such a great platform, ~ BB

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    • Thanks for telling your story here — I love your description of the things that make a hippie. And to be honest my young friends share most of those characteristics… maybe it’s just the age difference that makes them feel different to me.

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  3. Great post. I think you are absolutely correct in being able to pick out the ‘faux hippies’ that use for comic effect or advertising. It’s not the clothes, it’s not the music, it’s the feeling for sure. I watching a movie about hippies last week – and noticed that they must have used some real old school hippies for background because some of them felt real even in the middle of a goofy movie. (called Peace, Love and Misunderstanding, by the way)

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    • Yes, the ad stuff and movie portrayals for sure are fake. But also the pictures of the young ones who say they’re hippies now don’t feel the same to me — I hesitate to say fake because I don’t think they’re faking I just think they’re in a different time and don’t understand the spirit that infused us back then. I hadn’t heard of that movie–I’ll have to watch for it on cable.

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