Wednesday, July 30, 2008

In Defense of Hippies

Once again, my colleague inspires me.

Before ascertaining during his campus visit here last year that he too hated hippies, I had only met one other non-conservative person who claimed to hate hippies. That other person is my good friend and local blogger ComoProzac, who recently suggested my interest in Tapestries was hippie-ish. But after having a conversation with another friend, I find that many people share this aversion toward hippies.

I guess I've lived in too many hippie havens. I've always thought the presence of hippies signaled the presence of many good things: yoga, natural food co-ops, progressive politics. And hummus. I had never had hummus until I went to the Trojan Horse in Bloomington, Indiana (an alleged hippie haven) with my grad school friend Kitsey. Perusing the menu, I asked her, "What's hummus?" (I had never been offered such food in Weatherford, Texas. Not in Waco, either, though they may have it there by now.) "It's hippie food!" she answered. I love hummus. And whenever I eat it, I think of hippies. (Yes, I know it didn't originate with hippies. But I can't help it.)

And the Wikipedia entry on hippies says that they have philosophical progenitors in such luminaries as Jesus Christ, Hillel the Elder, Buddha, St. Francis of Assisi, Henry David Thoreau, and Gandhi. You know, it's all about counter-culture, finding another way. Peace, brother/sisterhood, understanding and living in harmony. I like those things.

But "hippie deodorant"? No, it doesn't work. And maybe some other aspects of hippie culture aren't things we ourselves pursue. But I stick by my assertion that the presence of hippies in a place is a good sign. At least in the midwest. I can't speak for other parts of the country.

And now after all this hippie talk, I've got a hankering for hummus. I'm at Uprise (yet again)--I think I'll get some!


dhawhee said...

I read recently that Robin Pecknold, lead singer of Fleet Foxes, also claims to hate hippies( he often gets mistaken for one). Something about how they started out cool but then shut themselves off.

comoprozac said...

Hippies are no longer part of the counterculture. I'll explain it better in a future post, but it's a class thing...and they (hippies) smell.

joanna said...

As a former wannabe hippie of the 60's and 70's (my mom wouldn't let me), I am curious--are you talking about the hippies of old, or are you talking about a group existing today?
Peace, Love, Freedom and Happiness,

comoprozac said...

All hippies.

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