The Hippies Are Back!
[Pub. Note: Trevor is too young (not the publisher) to have been around “Hippies” and
is too old and square to be admitted to the “Hipster” ranks. Whatever they are.]
I recently attended one of the women’s marches and made the happy discovery
that hippies are back! For those of you too young to remember hippies, they were
just like hipsters, just without the grooming and smugness. Hippies drank cheap
beer, looked like they dressed in a thrift store, and ate organic food, just like
hipsters, mainly because they were poor, not because they were trying to make
some conceited social statement.
Hippies wanted free love. Hipsters want free wi-fi.
Hippies panhandled for a bit of change to fill their tanks so they could make it to
the next Doors show. Hipsters beg businesses for places to plug in their phones
because their cell phone batteries are almost dead from YouTube videos of hilarious
things that cats do.
Hippies gave us literary giants like Ken Kesey, Tom Wolfe, Jack Kerouac, Hunter
Thompson, and Kurt Vonnegut. Hipsters have given us blog posts about 57 humane
ways to use lamb’s wool in your daily life and where is the best place to find a gluten
Hippies were a heading to San Francisco because it was cool. Hipsters find that
Let’s be honest. Does President Trump have it all wrong? Should we keep the
Mexicans and deport the hipsters? I thought the hippies were all dead and long
gone. Oh, there is Tommy Chong, but I figure he is kept around like a museum piece
or an animal in the zoo.
“See the hippie in his natural environment. There were once thousands of them
roaming free across the United States. They had a rich and diverse culture. They
communicated through a system of sounds and noises called The Grateful Dead,
which we are still trying to decipher to this day. All we know for sure is it caused
them to dance around naked, eat large amounts of macaroni and cheese, and stare
mindlessly at the television for hours.”
America got rid of hippies in the most ingenious way possible. We gave them
home mortgages, which meant jobs, haircuts, and gas guzzling SUVs that were not
going to break down on the way to work like their VW vans did. They had kids,
secretly hid their Walter Mondale For President buttons, and, to be honest, don’t
look good running around naked anymore. That last one is only true if they aren’t
wearing their bifocals. The only time they get naked in pubic now is when they are
suffering through a diabetic episode with their adult children screaming, “Dad put
your clothes back on. We have neighbors. Someone get him a Snickers bar, for the
love of God.” [pub. note: This only happened to me twice!]
Yet, there they were, in a sea of pink stocking hats, hippies, their hair a lot thinner
and grayer, but living, breathing hippies. Their eastern philosophies replaced with
Lutheranism, which means they still commune with their God; He just cannot be
within fifty feet of them. With retirement and their kids’ rooms turned into a sewing
room, office, and gym, they are back, well, as long as any protesting does not
interfere with babysitting the grandkids and the television show This Is Us. A great
series, even though their kids have explained fifty times how the DVR works, they
still cannot figure it out.
Tie-dye and love beads have been replaced with black socks and scandals and
discount outlet mall golf shirts. They still believe big brother is watching them, but it
turned out to be the neighbors because they forgot to pull their shades down. They
used to not trust anyone over thirty, now they don’t trust anyone without a 401K.
They might not be dropping acid anymore, because with their bad backs and knees,
they don’t want to risk dropping anything and those on the stage are having to ask
people not to drink the cool-aid because someone might have put some bad Lipitor
in it, but they are back.
Granted, the days of walking around barefoot are gone thanks to diabetic nerve
pain, the smell of patchouli oil has been replaced with the scent of Bengay, and even
they don’t want to think about burning their bras anymore and that is just the men.
(Come on, every male has seen his grandpa shirtless and wants to weep because we
know that is our future.)
Sorry millennials, if hippies are back in the public, and not just for mall walking, it
means the return of good music and great drugs. Remember, children, drugs are
bad… except for your grandparents’ stash, that’s the good stuff. Medicaid and
medical marijuana beats anything found in any Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test stems and
seeds. Hippies were so blasted out of their minds that they literally thought they
could levitate the Pentagon with their minds. Millennials, your drugs make you
follow Kim Kardashian on Twitter, listen to Taylor Swift songs, and watch The
Bachelor. Now hippies have money. You be the judge of who has the better
I apologize. Drug humor is never appropriate, unless it is used to sell alcohol, those
little blue pills, or sugary treats. Then it is as all-American as Garth Brooks in
cowboy boots and a red, white, and blue speedo carrying a rifle while eating a piece
of apple pie.
The return of hippies also means a possible return of free love, or, as my people,
the Norwegians, call it, “Please, honey?.” I need free love. Again, I’m Norwegian. I am
not saying my people are a cold and passionless people. Although the first time I got
to second base, right afterwards, I had to go to the doctor for frostbite. I am not even
sure I know what free love is. Given the price of Viagra, I am not even sure old
hippies know what it is anymore. I am sure it has something to do with a potential
venereal disease and a promise not to tell any Ole and Lena jokes, but that is about
all I know.
I grew up in the era of HIV/AIDS where couples wore hazmat suits into the
bedroom. Possible death and chemical showers were real mood killers if a teenagers
had moods and feelings that could not be found in the Cliff Notes summary of a
Motley Crue song. I need free love.
(In all seriousness, my people are a very repressed people. I am not making this up.
grade it was decided that my class needed sex ed. We were the first class to
ever have sex ed at the school. The old doctor in town came in to talk to the boys and
the girls were sent off to the gym with the school nurse. It was all very solemn as the
old doctor stood up front and looked out at a sea of eager young faces. My entire sex
ed was a grand total of two sentences. The old doctor said, “If you don’t stick it in,
you won’t have any problems. Any questions?” None of us had any clue what this “it”
was. So, there were no questions, and we got to go out to recess for the next hour.)
(A couple of years later, my pastor decided he needed to instruct the confirmation
class in sex ed. The only sexual education you learn from your pastor is that his wife
and him have young children running around the parsonage, but they must not have
enjoyed it much.)
The 1960s were a big party. If you remember the 60s, you did not live through the
era. The 70s were the hangover afterwards; shag carpeting, bell bottom jeans,
greens, golds, and earth tones. Everything made your eyes hurt. The 80s, with
Reagan and all the flag waving was the pledge to never fall off the wagon again. Of
course it was going to massively fail. So, I am glad to see those old hippies out and
about again in a world gone totally insane.