Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Greetings from the Resistance

Ever since I've been hanging out with World Wide Hippies, I've been wondering where Menopausal Stoners would fit into the demographic Space Time Continuum.  Menopausal Stoners saw the Sixties on the news but we were too young to be Original Hippies.  They would have been our older brothers and sisters - or maybe our parents.

Then I had an epiphany.  Maybe not much of an epiphany, and maybe no surprise to anyone but me - but I realized that Menopausal Stoners are Hippies.  It's a State of Mind not a Demographic.  That's what Hunga Dunga Phil was saying when he left this comment on a post I had written about The War (Not in Our Name).  I could have sworn Phil said something to me about age/demographics - but it must have been in the comments over at World Wide Hippies since I can't find it right now.  I can find the article where he clearly defines the difference between Hippies and Baby Boomers:  Life's Exit Ramp - Boomer or Hippie. Phil says:
. . . to be a ‘hippie’ is to have a set of cultural attributes and values that include love, peace, a strong belief in social, economic and political justice for all, and a profound respect for the earth. By that definition, to be a hippie is to be unconstrained by a specific span of time.
Some Original Hippies think Hippies scattered to the winds when the Sixties died and that as the Hippies get old and die themselves, Hippies become extinct. Well, at least that's what Woody thinks and he is an Original Hippie.  I may not be presenting his point of view accurately since he and I often slide quickly between topics, but Woody seems to believe Hippies were a specific group of people confined to a specific place and time.  I've looked at Hippies that way, too - as a point on a time line - which is why I wondered where Menopausal Stoners would fall on that same time line, demographically speaking.

The Hippie Movement is not a thing of the past, however.  The Hippie Movement simply got buried under the same load of shit that trickled down on all of us on account of Reaganomics.

During my epiphany, I imagined a bunch of Hippies crawling out from under Reagan's legacy, dusting themselves off, stretching and getting ready to Dance - but not just old hippies like Woody.  All kinds of people are Hippies now.  The Age of Aquarius dawned forty years ago, after all.  The Old Order rapidly reasserted itself - because that's the nature of things - but that doesn't mean the Hippie Movement was Dead.  Buried? Yes.  Depressed?  Definitely.  But not Dead.  Furthermore, there were those of us who were directly touched by the actions of the Original Hippies.  We, their younger sibs.  Hippie Values live inside us - just as they remain alive in the Original Hippies - and we've all influenced the people around us.

That's when Woody called and started grousing about The Rally to Restore Sanity being a piece of corporate sponsored shit.  I don't agree.  The Rally was certainly a commercial event, and the show itself reminded me of a skit we saw up at the Hippie Dippy Quaker camp where Velvet spent many, many summers - which was all about supporting independent media in the face of Corporate Control.  However, the Rally was an excellent way to show today's very comfortable "slacktivists" that descending on the Mall in Washington DC can be safe and fun. You have to admit that if you grew up with visions of Kent State and Birmingham in your head, you might be reluctant to march in the streets.

The 18 - 40 year olds (that's a demographic) at the rally may have learned about Kent State in history class (probably not, though) and Ronald Reagan is just another dead president to them.  This group is the product of an Education system determined to kill the ability to connect the dots.  They are also the product of a consumer culture gone wild - a society that never connected the dots between their gas guzzling SUVs, dependence on fossil fuels and the war in Iraq.   Like their gas hogs are basically tossing hand grenades at the very soldiers they claim to support.

Even dedicated Progressives in this demographic aren't going to descend on Washington except for a Corporate sponsored event with Celebrities and Merchandise - and the chance to post their pictures on Facebook.  Life is too cushy and comfortable, and demonstrations are not trendy.  Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert drew a crowd of concerned, if comfortably complacent, citizens to the Mall for intellectual  fellowship and an introduction to Connecting the Dots.  Maybe it wasn't political activism, but activism is scary.  I'm scared of it - and Woody still has scars from his days as a Peace Activist during the Vietnam War.

I went to sleep thinking about Being the Change and woke up thinking about the Mandelbrot set. It's that never ending pattern - the one you continue to find no matter how far we look outward or how deeply we look inward.

In humanity's case, the pattern seems to be that Wealthy Rulers rape, pillage, plunder and oppress the rest of us, and every so often the Peasants revolt. Society evolves into something a bit more human, and then the Rulers go back to raping, pillaging and oppressing the rest of us. And so it goes.  Each time we peasants revolt, we make a little progress. Maybe that's why they call us Progressives. 

There is more to being a Hippie than being Progressive, however, and I'm fixing to dive in and discover all those differences for myself. I wonder if taking the Hippie plunge is sort of like being dunked by holy rollers so that you come out a Born Again Hippie. I may get a chance to find out for myself this weekend.  I'm heading up to Tree Hugger to visit Velvet and if I drive just a bit farther west on Rt 17 than usual, I'll wind up at World Wide Hippies Headquarters where I can meet Mr. Joseph McEvoy, one of the founders.

This Joint Venture seems to be coming in the nick of time, too.  The election results suggest that it's time to solidify the Rebel Alliance.  In this Culture War, I intend to bring everyone Greetings from the Resistance.


Susan Tiner said...

Interesting you mentioned getting dunked by holy rollers. I have that concern about hippies, that it's a form of religious movement, i.e., if you don't believe then you're a heathen and will be due for retribution. This is my past trauma speaking -- I did not fare well in conversations with hippies if I didn't agree with everything being stated.

PENolan said...

Sounds more like a Narcissist than a Hippie ;)
Actually, I'm being shamelessly self-promotional with WWH. Plus I like the idea of wearing a vaguely S&M outfit and saying "Greetings from the Resistance" on WWH TV.

Susan Tiner said...

Let me tell, there were narcissists passing themselves off as hippies when I was a young and impressionable. A tie-dye T-shirt and religious fervor doth not a hippie make.

The S&M outfit sounds great!

PENolan said...

Dang Narcissists are everywhere. Let's hope we've learned to spot them at 50 paces.

Religious fervor can be very attractive in a twisted sort of way - especially when you're young, impressionable and susceptible to power brokers. Maybe that's why I like the dominatrix idea . . .

Mr. Charleston said...

You're right on about Hippie being a state of mind Trish. But take it from an original, when around the love and peaceniks, always keep one eye open and one hand on your wallet. Most of the so-called hippies, you know, the ones who dress and act the part, are all love and sharing as long as someone else is paying for it.

Having said that, it's still a nice state of mind.

PENolan said...

Yeah - I already figured this project was going to cost me some money somehow. I was just hoping it had to do with Weed.

Utah Savage said...

Hippie men seemed to like to assume the guru role which just made we want to take them on, intellectually speaking. They also loved to latch onto hard working women who would take care of them as they sat on their asses and dished out pompous horseshit! I have a bad reputation with the hippie men I have known. Men of my generation and just slightly younger set my teeth on edge. I'd love to meet one who didn't. Anyway, have fun.

PENolan said...

Y'all, I feel very protected by wise, fellow travelers as I set off on the Hippie Trail ;)

Not to worry, Peg

They are all married, in a fashion, and my mother protects my financial interests like a Rottweiler.

What could happen?!

Jaliya said...

Lucky you, Pe, that your mother protects your financial interests like a Rottweiler ;-D

I've just found something that I think will make a lot of sense to you ... and I don't know if I'd call you a Hippie. You are so one of a kind! :-)

Anyway ... I found this at Andrew Sullivan's *Daily Dish* today. There's one phrase in there that sums up all the intelligent thinking there is about cannabis: " ... it is absurd for any government to prevent people from growing a naturally occurring plant that requires no processing to provide humans with pleasure."

Yikes. I'll have to keep an eye out for anyone thinking that the basil and oregano I pluck from my wee herb garden is actually a DRUG ...

PENolan said...

Thanks Jaliya
Great photo with that weed story.

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