March 15, 2004

Bad Vibes

A lot of people seem to really have it in for hippies, and it's just not fair. I grew up in the 60's, and my best friend from those days had an uncle who had a barbershop right on the edge of the Haight Ashbury district of San Fransisco (talk about poor location!). My friend and I would visit his uncle during our summer vacations, and since he was working, we'd basically run the streets all day. Remember the days when you could do that without worry? Here's what I experienced: like any other group, there were good people and bad people. They didn't stink, they weren't all stoned all day, a lot of them had jobs, or at least something that they worked at. Nobody ever offered me drugs, and as a child I was treated with respect and kindness. Pretty freakin' horrible, eh?

Yet a lot of people who start raising hell when someone labels an ethnic group with an offensive word or stereotype have no problem joking about "smelly hippies". Enough with the negativity, hypocrites.

Learn something about what being a hippie really meant. You don't have to agree with them, I don't. But having different beliefs doesn't mean you have to look down at them either.

In some ways, hippies were the ultimate 'minimal government' movement. "Do your own thing", "whatever turns you on" and other phrases all boil down to "Leave me alone". They were never, and could never get organized enough to become a real political force.

Being a hippie was more than long hair and beads and bell bottoms. A lot of people dressed like hippies, because it was trendy. For a while in the 80's a lot of people dressed like Rambo, that didn't make them mercenaries.

So there's my minor-league vent about hippies. And here's a twofer: take most everything I said above and apply it to bikers too.

Posted by Ted at March 15, 2004 05:30 AM
Category: Square Pegs
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