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Hippie Lifestyle

Why is it that kids in college (or kids around my age, anyway) feel the need to go through this hippie lifestyle exploration? Sure, the hippie ideal is nice with the whole community aspect, but... If you were to go back in time to the mid-60's to the mid-1970's and actually speak to an honest-to-God hippie... Well, if you make it past the horrible smell (au naturale, my ass), you'll realize that hippie theories are merely drug-induced nonsense. And whether they like to admit it or not, they were inspired by the beatnik media stereotype from the 50's, which was based on the distorted view of live people and Jack Kerouac's fictional spirituality. You know the people in cafes with berets and black outfits who snap their fingers at the end of a supposedly deep "performance" of a haiku-esque poem... Well, those are the beatniks, the starters of the hippie movement.

Hippies, in general, saw the dominant culture at the time to be a corrupt, hardened body that strove to have complete control over every aspect of their lives. This might make you think of George Orwell's 1984. I know it did me. Now, I'm as much a Beatles lover as the next woman-- in fact, I'm a big fan-- but they were the ones that made the hippie movement catch on in the US. Good job, guys. You made drugs and casual sex the cool thing to do. It's because of the hippies that AIDS got to be (and is still) such a serious problem. The hippie ideal of pacifism and anti-war is nice and, in theory, a good idea, but that Utopian society is impossible due to the human incapability of working without motivation. People need the prospect of receiving a reward for doing something or else that something will never get done. That's where we are ridiculously stupid. This peace that hippies keep pushing for is non-existent. We screwed up any chance of peace left for humanity long, long ago Anyways, though, hippies were deluded enough to think that they could actually change human nature. They were so doped up all of the time on cannabis and hallucinogens such as LSD that they were incapable of rational thought. Timothy Leary, a professor at Harvard of all places, said, "Expand your consciousness and find ecstasy and revelation within." This is all well and good, but such revelation and ecstasy is found via a massive quantity of drugs. I'd rather keep as many brain cells as I can, thanks.

I'm not saying that I think the hippie ideal is completely misguided. I think that a good portion of it is misguided, and quite a few of of their viewpoints are the results of a lifestyle dictated by the use of drugs... Their idea of having a true sense of community, while a bit lofty of an expectation for the human race, is a great idea. To have a community where everyone relies on everyone else. That, to be honest, is the preferrable Christian lifestyle. That's what the body of Christ is supposed to be like. Unfortunately, though, humans are fallible. I would love to say that there is a chance that such an environment can be created and thrive in adversity, but... there are too many people (especially in the US) that are so testy about changing, so set in their ways that they won't even consider something that might make the world a better place. I'd be all for a nice sense of community, but I really doubt that people will ever get to that point.

Oh well. I guess we can all decide that humans, in general, suck.



Thinking..... said…
I'm sorry, I disagree. While I don't live by the sex and drugs lifestyle nor do I plan to and I don't see it as a positive thing, I see certain aspects of the hippie movement to be very positive. For example: the emphasis on the environment- whether we like it or not our planet is deteriorating and we are the problem. If we don't change our ways and begin thinking of ways to become more environmentally friendly we are going to kill our planet. Another thing that you mentioned was the idea of community and the idea of being interconnected. We are certainly all interconnected and we depend on each other as it is. I think their idea of community is great and that we should strive for that idea. No, we will not create an utopia but we can make the world a better place. Why say that it is impossible? Another thing that is important to take into consideration is how we define the word hippie. While hippies do tend to be associated with sex and drugs another meaning of the word hippie is "a person who opposes and rejects many of the conventional standards and customs of society, especially one who advocates extreme liberalism in sociopolitical attitudes and lifestyles". I for one see nothing wrong with opposing conventional standards of society, society is not always right. Another thing that I saw you mention was AIDS and how if there was a lack of hippies AIDS would never have escalated to become the problem that it is now. In my opinion hippies didn't have that much to do with AIDS the lack of education about AIDS led to the problem. For example, right now AIDS is a bigger problem in Africa than it is in the United States and hippies did not influence that. Even in the United States there are other problems that continue to make AIDS a problem that has no relevance to hippies for example the sharing of needles. I don't want you to think that I disagree with everything you said- I agree drugs and unprotected sex is not a good thing (hippies aren't the only ones involved in that) and I agree that the music that came out of that era was and still is amazing. I just wanted to show you that it is possible to be more optimistic about the world and about social change. At this point social change is a necessity or soon we will run out of the natural resources that provide for our needs and while hippies had their ups and downs they had some views that were and are very admirable and should be taken into consideration.

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