Photo courtesy of hippies.
WHY DON’T ALL you damn hippies get a life?
Looking around, you don’t see many hippies these days. Sure, you see bellbottoms, tie-dyes and Birkenstocks – why not, they’re comfortable – but the people in them don’t consider themselves hippies.
They don’t live on communes. They’re skeptical about love being “free.” And though some will hug trees, you can’t make them do it for very long.
To the literal-minded observer, this is sheer chaos. How do you make sweeping judgments if you can’t go by appearances?
What’s wrong with these people? Did they miss orientation? Are imitation hippies worse than hippie hippies? Who’s counterfeiting hippies?
Shockingly, hippies aren’t not the only ones doing it wrong. It’s common to see baseball caps without baseball players under them. Biker jackets, in Buicks. Cowboy boots nowhere near the Range.
Even me – not only have I never been to Hawaii, I’m pretty sure my shirt hasn’t, either. I’m sure it’s the hippies’ fault we’re all so confused.
Hippies Ruin Pure Travel
The problem of knowing who’s a hippie and who’s just dirty is magnified when abroad. Travel is a grungy business – many of us leave our Armanis and Donna Karans at home.
By dressing comfortably, we lose the trappings of respectability and ethnocentrism, risking hippie contamination. We may even appear… unemployed (hippies love unemployment).
“Budget travel” and “relaxing” are travel trends that lead us to mix with “different” company – some “very” “different” “company” indeed.
The downward spiral begins innocently: You meet someone from another country, perhaps talk to them. You accept a bottle from a friendly young lady. You begin to notice aesthetics and music.
You voice opinions and express your personality. Soon you’ll quit your job at the bank, view foreign policy as important and accept anything natural without question.
You are now a hippie.
Damn the Hippie Swine!
They promoted avoiding violence and materialism. They wanted closer relations with nature and one another.
But the hippie movement showed us dangerous new dimensions as well: an empowered youth, bold artwork and music, and a bigger choice on the menu than blind obedience. Many hippies today are harmless, nothing more than walking fashion statements. For some though, the hippie ideal remains a lifestyle choice.
Even though many of them wash their hair, there is no question that young people today embrace the most dangerous element of the hippie attitude: the independent spirit to question authority.
The damage is incalculable.
What Makes Hippies Tick?
A hippie digging for marijuana. Photo by Hendrik Dacquin
Recent studies of hippies trapped in the wild confirm our deepest fears.
Hippies thwart global capitalism, scare children and cause pets to mess themselves. Hippies screw up the train schedule, pick on old ladies and fart in church.
They open the door to terrorists, the housing crunch and reality television. They foul the water supply. Hippies make policemen cranky. They promote male-pattern balding.
They disable psell check. Their music is… actually pretty good.
Aside from that, history shows meager reward from the hippie mindset (except that they eventually get older and own everything).
The worst thing about hippies: they’re out there. Somewhere. And you can’t tell by looking at ‘em anymore. Depending on how paranoid you are, they can be anywhere. Plotting. Scheming. Conspiring to undermine your Way of Life and gank your cheese. (Is “gank” a hippie word? Forget I said it.)
We Must Prepare
Perhaps it was Frank Zappa who said it best, when asked if he was a woman because he had long hair. He replied, “You have a wooden leg. Does that make you a table?”
Or perhaps this is just a satanic riddle, since Mr. Zappa looked like and was no doubt a hippie. But since the interviewer was almost certainly not a table, there may be some wisdom here.
If we can’t tell hippies from traveling pseudo-hippies, how do we tell hippies from non-hip? How do we separate those contributing to society from fun-loving degenerates? How do you avoid being mistaken for one o’ them damn fashionably attired traveler hippies?
The key to sheltered travel is to avoid introspection at all costs. JUDGE EVERYONE.
Remain vigilant against friendly and open-minded people abroad. Refuse to lighten up or engage in anything unfamiliar – repeat: do not engage.
If temptation strikes, repeat this phrase: “I’m not from around here.” And, if you meet people of a foreign lifestyle, call them hippies and make obscene gestures at them.
Whether they are or not is irrelevant: you’ll feel all warm and powerful. After all, the whole point of travel is to reinforce your previous beliefs and stereotypes through perpetual distance.
Do you call yourself a budget traveler? If so, you’re hippie scum. Share your thoughts in the comments!
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F. Daniel Harbecke
F. Daniel Harbecke (just call him Daniel, the F's a family thing) is currently working on "A Philosophy of Travel" which envisions travel as a metaphor for the meaningful experience of life. Daniel has lived in Europe, South America and Asia and is trying to fund his tony lifestyle in Sweet Home Chicago.