The Hippies Won?

Discussion in 'TM Lounge' started by Jimi Michiel, Apr 26, 2005.

Did the hippies win?

  1. Yes

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  2. No

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  1. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

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    The other night I watched the Big Labowski. For some reason, the part where the Big Labowski screams at the Dude, "The hippies lost!!!" stuck in my mind (forgive me if its not the exact quote).
    Then, today, I picked up a copy of "What the Dormouse Said," an interesting history of Silicon Valley and the birth of the personal computer industry. Apparently, the PC industry was started by what amounts to a hippy counter-culture, complete with LSD, political protests and cameos by the Grateful Dead and Ken Kesey. Now that personal computers are a necessity in everyday life, would it be safe to say that hippies in a way DID in fact win? (Steve Jobs is a central figure in this book... who out there owns a Mac and/or iPod?) Just food for thought, especially considering that we're all communicating via these things...
    -jimi
     
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Jimi,

    No, because they became "sellouts" which just means they started doing something productive with their lives instead of going to the latest rally to meet chicks.

    That's the real reason guys in those days went to rallies.

    ML
     
  3. jpkaminga

    jpkaminga Pianissimo User

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    How many hippies weren't bought and sold even while they were unproductive, I never heard of starving hippies, just dirty ones, and they must have had money, or connections to money, to get all those drugs.

    There were plenty of people who believed in good causes in the 60's and did something about it by protesting publicly, some of them might have even been stereotypical hippies, but alot of them were people who had their lives together and just wanted to contribute to a good cause.

    It's really an incomplete question though, who the heck were hippies? Rude Boys and Punkers and others believe in many of the things associated with hippies yet they would all say that hippies suck. Ideas associated with the hippies both won and lost because the counterculture was marketed and institutionalized and it started with the hippies.
     
  4. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    JP,

    When 1967 rolled around I was a 7th grader and picking up the trumpet for the first time. The War was being poorly run by Johnson and the issue of civil rights was coming to a huge head. The Beatles were changing everyone's concept of Top 40 tunes. Girls were showing more leg and boys more hair. It was pretty clear that America was going through more than hoola hoops and 3-d glasses for the theatre.

    When the 2nd Kennedy brother and Dr. King were murdered societal change took a more angry tone. Anger at the society that allowed the amount of racism it did, anger at the boys coming back in body bags. Anger at the school systems for not being "relevant" enough. The Catholic church had indergone changes vis-a-vis Vatican II years before.

    Tim Leary decided that altering perception by using LSD was an experience that people should try in order to broaden the mind. If LSD wasn't available well, there was pot. In the inner cities heroin was the heavy drug of choice for those now buying into despair brought on by the various media that relished the opportunity to languish in bad news. "Free love" was, ironically, the embryonic phase of Roe vs. Wade, the price of free love.

    So, you ask, who were the hippies? The hippies came from mostly middle class families with a stake in the American dream. The children of those families felt guilt that they had it good when others were suffering so they "Tuned in and dropped out". They believed in good things but really did nothing except drop out to belong to something they tried to create.

    In the final analysis, the work for social change and justice really didn't come from the hippies at all. It came from organizations and public figures that brought the issues to face the American public. It was, in many ways, the extreme wings of those movements that forced the public to sit up and take notice of the ills too long ignored. For as much as I held groups like the Black Panthers and people like Abbie Hoffman in disdain, I have to admit they had an effect though not as extreme as they wished.

    Society has a tidy way of paring away what it doesn't need and retaining what it does, I think. Some times it takes longer and you have to cycle through a variety of approaches before said society adopts the changes.

    The hippies were the "useful idiots" of my generation. They wanted an end to the war. We all did. But they allowed themselves to be led around by the collar by communists who wanted way more than an end to the war. It was a very polarizing time. The same happened with the black movement. Every reasonable person wanted equality but Dr. King's work was hijacked by people like Angela Davis and the angriness continued with more emphasis on government to cure societies ills. Eventually, steady changes were adopted governmentally and societally.

    The hippies were at all the rallies doing what they were told by "the leadership". "Doing your own thing" quickly became "Do what I tell you".

    So, JP, the hippies, the real hippies with a totally nomadic lifestyle, no willingness to join the military, doing what they could to score some dope, hitchhiking across the country to get where they could, ultimately did nothing and lived their lives so as not to be associated with "The Man" or the problem. It made them fell less guilty for growing up in middle class or well-to-do means. When that became tiresome they got jobs, shaved and said hello to the 80's.

    ML
     
  5. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    For the most part I agree with Manny's post. No discussion at all: there were those who believed that "free love", "communal living", "dope and drugs" were the way to universal enlightenment, world peace, and "groovy, baby!" I certainly saw enough of them in '69 when I attended a 3 day music event called "Woodstock". DISCLAIMER: I was not, am not, nor ever have been what could be called a "hippie". I had short hair, wore a pocket protector and carried a slide rule, and was busy studying engineering. I never tried any "herbal remedies" until AFTER I had graduated and then only twice. (probably making me the only "straight" at Woodstock with the possible exception of the US Army folks providing medical emergency support).

    BUT: I also, happened to absolutely LOVE the music of the time: Chicago, BST, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Beach Boys, Gordon Lightfoot, Ian & Sylvia, Peter Paul & Mary, The Doors, Scott MacKenzie, etc. (I never did cotton on to Janice Joplin nor Joan Baez for some reason). I still DO love the music of that era. I was also against the Vietnam war and I sat shocked at what happened at Kent State as it came over the radio and TV.

    But where the hippies "led around by the collar by communists"? I don't think so. There were no doubt a few who could fall into that classification but a generalization that hippies fell into a trap set by communists would be stretching the truth more than a little bit.

    But the "hippies" were certainly not unique to their age. Just previous to the hippies a bunch of folks who were called (and called themselves) "beatniks" worshipped (to a greater or lesser extent) folks like Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk, and the whole wine-drinking, drug-taking, "stay up all night, sleep all day" counter-culture of their time. Before THEM was a social "craze" called "Flappers" (that's even before MY time!) Since then we have had different forms of "protest against the current generation with the power" which takes the shape of (c)Rap or Gangsta, Goth & Skinheads. I believe that this type of "anti-establishment" protest is actually a safety valve for our society in which the youth (and it's always the youth, isn't it?) can explore the alternatives. Thankfully, the vast majority of them ultimately decide that life is better if you conform to the generally accepted rules of society to a greater or lesser extent!

    Does protest work? Ask the folks who helped tear down the Berlin Wall, or those who refused to back down in other of the East Bloc countries. When there is true oppression, a mass uprising is generally a signal that the population will no longer be cowed by the trappings of power that have been worn by the dictatorship. When the oppression is only perceived (ie, not "real" within the context of a democratic society), then the protest fades away as the members of the "movement" become absorbed by the greater societal establishment.

    This is what happened to the hippies.... they faded away, completed their studies, and got jobs. Good jobs. You see, they weren't stupid people; they just needed to explore an option; something that all youth experiment with.

    There will always be members of society who can be described as "weak" (at least in my mind... your mileage may vary!)... I would point out some of the pretty radical cults that exist and the folks who join these cults for purely personal reasons (to the extent of bleating "Baaaa" and following their self-appointed leaders off a cliff when told to do so). Did "the Communists" attempt to exploit some of these weak people? Oh, probably... but note the word "attempt" please. It certainly wasn't widespread and it sure didn't last long.

    And thank goodness that computers WERE developed... or we wouldn't even be having this discussion. (at least, not in this peaceful format!)
     
  6. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Hey, Toots,

    Clearly we don't disagree that much.

    What I was referring to about the Communists was the so-called "Fifth Collumn" of subversion that I believe took a greater hold than many may suspect upon what we have become today as a society. If you sample the rhetoric of times from the people that were held up as leaders, I believe, for example, it was less about ending the War and fighting for Civil Rights as much as it was trying to bring about a change in the type of government from a representative republic to a socialist one.

    I think that we're still suffering from the effects of that time. You're right, the constitution is basically intact but our way of thinking about any number of issues is very different from that time. I'd be silly to think that things wouldn't change in 40 years so, I'm not implying that we wouldn't. It's just the direction of the paradigm that's shifted in terms of what we expect out of life that has changed.

    Ach... I don't think that made the type of sense I wanted it to, Toots, sorry. Got too much on my mind to be coherent, I'm afraid. Tell you what, though... Michael Medved has written a spectacular autobiography that is worth every cent. This guy lived thrugh all of that, went to school with Bush 43, Kerry, and Hillary. He logged over 82,000 miles hitchhiking across the country talking to people. If you get it, you won't be able to put it down. It's very well written. It's called Right Turns. Sensational book. He explains beautifully what I've, sadly, been unable to say. Check it out!

    ML
     
  7. BigBadWolf

    BigBadWolf Piano User

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    Now the hippies have turned into the Gloria Alred's, Martha Burke's, and Nancy Pelosi's of the world. While they have become far more selfish (they don't want to use any of their own money for their sick brand of socialism), the message remains the same.
     
  8. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Okay, so BBW took two lines to say what it took me two posts to attempt.

    I'm going back to bed.

    ML
     
  9. uatrmpt

    uatrmpt Piano User

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    I think they did...they are the ones in charge now, aren't they? The general liberal trend and decline of America's traditional Christian values are a direct descendant of their "laissez faire" attitude. Free love, abort fetuses (as long as you don't kill anyone because they too another life), etc.

    What's wrong is right, what's right is wrong and the whole world is upside down.
     
  10. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Excuse me, I must have missed something; has the US had an election in the past two days or so that I didn't hear about? Last thing I knew President Bush and the Republican Party were in power... quite solidly too.... in both the House and the Senate. Sure, some international economic problems are erroding confidence in the administration (seems to be a normal state of affairs for most governments) but there won't be a change for the next three and a half years....?

    Or is there something subtle going on that this possibly misinformed individual doesn't know about?

    I had been thinking that Aids, HIV, & etc. had pretty much killed off the "Free Love" movement. I know that the kids around here are pretty darn conservative in that regard; the real problem is drugs nowadays. Seems that the legal systems hasn't got the guts to put those characters away permanently. And from what I can tell, it isn't the "hippies" that are running the drugs; up here it seems to be mostly the bikers and Asian gangs and they are/were philosophically opposite to the Hippies.
     

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