Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The hippies were right

I admit, I have never cared much for hippies. Maybe it was the kid on the bus in highschool who fit the stereotype of being burnt out, unwashed and reeking of patchouli oil. Maybe it is my next door neighbor who lives in what looks like an abandoned house, has drum circles at 2am and gets upset when I want to shoot the coyotes that roam the local fields. Perhaps it could be that we've been taught that they are all lazy pot smokers who have no ambition to attain the "American Dream".

But what if the "American Dream" is really the "American Nightmare", an endless cycle of work, debt and consumption that ends with death, and the realization that you've never truly lived? If that is the case, perhaps the hippies, the beatniks and the other "losers" were right. Maybe the rest of us have been hoodwinked into believing being a "success" was buying into that cycle of consumption, work, debt and becoming just an another cog in the wheel, another brick in the wall.

I'll never be a hippie. I like my hair cropped close, my music often aggressive and I'm not into drugs. I don't need to take pills to make my world weird, it is weird enough as it is. Yet, I respect them for realizing "this is all bullshit man" and tuning out. I think we could all learn to consume less, be less dependent on the system and that maybe a peaceful protest now and then is a damn good idea.


  1. Before they were hippies they were beatniks and who knows what before that. They've always been around, the disaffected ones who see right through the sham of life the corporate world provides. That said, that life wasn't so bad when everyone including the rich paid their way. It all seemed that we knew our place in life and although we weren't rich, we had rich lives. Now it's down to buy gas or groceries, what's it gonna be? This is a well written article that simply points out how even those of us who don't consider ourselves hip do have hippie tendencies. This is why I believe most American's base their political beliefs somewhere in the middle.

  2. I'm not a hippie, either, and I like working hard.

    But it's all pursuit of happiness, man.

  3. The Dalai Lama said when asked what suprised him most about humanity, he answered "Man." "Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices his wealth to recover his health. Then he is so anxious about his future, he does not enjoy the present. He lives as if he is going to live forever. When he is old he realizes too many regrets and that he never really lived, but by that point it is too late. We are only human.