What Is a Hippie?

Occasionally you hear about hippies. But people who call themselves hippies today, or that others call hippies, are not like the original hippies at all. Generally, modern hippies are more brown (and I’m talking clothing choice) and less stoned than the original hippies. The original hippies were making many different political statements, social statements, and fashion statements. Of those various statements, many have been incorporated into modern mainstream thinking. Other ideas were taken out into the yard, shot mercilessly in the head, and buried in a deep, unmarked hole dug in the forest. The guy who buried those statements (mainly related to fashion) was then shot and buried in another deep hole, like the guys who buried the Pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings, so that no one could find those fashion statements no matter how hard they looked.

Following our theme of examining how Americans of a certain age were taught, as children, to think about certain things, we will now look at a formative depiction of early hippies as depicted on early TV shows. There is really nothing to be said about this, other than “OMG, did people really…look like that? …think other people looked like that? …put that sort of thing on TV? …watch that sort of thing on TV?”

…and…

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12 Responses to “What Is a Hippie?”

  1. May 14th, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Heather says:

    Ahhhh, the fashion statements! Hip huggers, preferably in paisley. Madras and tie die. Lots of midrif showing, long straight hair (probably why I was never a hippie) on both sexes. Color color color! Bare feet or sandals. Sleeves were big – both as in a big part of the statement, and as in big and flowing.

    O damn, now I’m getting nostalgic for what never was. But if I missed that part of it, I also missed the drugs, the lack of personal hygiene, the aimlessness, the arrests, the bad trips, the free sex (which somehow seemed to translate to if he wanted it, she had to put out)…

    Whew! End the nostalgia trip. That was a close one!

  2. May 14th, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    a2z says:

    Oooh. I just couldn’t watch the either video to the end. I was a hippie. Short, short skirts (or mid-calf coulots when riding my little Kawasaki 120), straight hair (still straight today–nothing to be done about that). Drugs? For us it was just pot. Made me cough. Groovie man. Anyway, I don’t ever remember behaving like the people depicted in those videos. Actually, Meathead and Gloria were more like what I remembered from the 60s.

  3. May 15th, 2010 at 1:02 am

    chuck13 says:

    could hippie be something that could only exist as the minority outsider contrarian to whatever the majority lifestyle philosophy of the day was? Hippie might not pass my father’s “what if “every body did it…” test.

    Could someone outline hippies’ contributions to the advancement of science?

  4. May 15th, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Greg Laden says:

    Hippie’s contribution to the advancement of science? That is an interesting question. The only thing that comes to mind as a specific datum point at the moment is PCR technology, but there are probably others.

    I know a number of majorly significant scientists who are at this moment retiring or nearing retirement who run or recently ran major research programs who started out as Hippies (e.g. at Berkeley. Their contributions are not insignificant, and they were hippies when they started out (at least, we know this of the ones who admit it).

  5. May 15th, 2010 at 9:31 am

    NewEnglandBob says:

    Lets see – today’s youth:

    They are all into rap, have tattoos on every square inch of their bodies and piercings on the lips, nose, eyes, ears and other places. The guys wear shorts that begin at their ass crack and go down to their ankles and the girls are all 5 foot 10 inches and weigh 93 lbs. None of them can spell and they are all lazy and all they want is government handouts.

    What is that you say? That only represents a very minuscule portion of young people? No one actually does all of that? That is a huge exaggeration?

    Yeah, same with hippies of the 60s and early 70s.

  6. May 15th, 2010 at 9:42 am

    george.w says:

    There was a propagandistic undercurrent to Dragnet; the Peace & Love poster on the wall coupled with the obviously unsympathetic filthy hippies was a way of damning anti-war messages by association.

  7. May 15th, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Coturnix says:

    So, to avoid confusion, what is a hipster?

  8. May 15th, 2010 at 10:49 am

    NewEnglandBob says:

    Wikipedia has good articles on hipster and hippie (they are different)

  9. May 15th, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Greg Laden says:

    I think a hipster is a modern day young person who hangs out in post-modern quasi-anarchistic settings and drinks Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. Hipsterness has no connection to social issues, as far as I know.

  10. May 15th, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    george.w says:

    I did notice these hippies have an amazing ability to sober up quickly, when commanded to do so by an authority figure.

  11. May 16th, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Erin R says:

    Hipsters are, supposedly, an alternative culture. I disagree. They’re a fashion movement, and an attitude movement, certainly. They listen to alternative non-mainstream music (that gets more mainstream by the minute) and dress non-comformatively… and that’s it. There’s no underlying unifying cause. Hipsters can be conservative or liberal (though they’re usually liberal, and with a liberal arts degree), rich or poor, and can span social causes. They might have buttons/flair professing their causes, but if they’ve got a socialist party pin it’s unlikely they’ve even been to one meeting.

    And they really, REALLY like PBR. A lot.

  12. May 17th, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    MPL says:

    Everyone must have been doing a lot of acid in the ’60s, if they thought that was good acting.

    What I want to knot is, why do they never handcuff the women in these clips?

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