Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Five Good Ideas Championed by Hippies

It is good and right to hate hippies. Hippie culture is a celebration of weakness and degradation. It’s given us a slice of the population that is equal parts useless and obnoxious and helped home-birth the self-congratulating, smug and cloying “progressive” culture that clogs the brains of many otherwise intelligent people. Hippies often smell funny and they have terrible clothes.

Hippies were the first cultural group in modern history that aligned political causes to a counterculture to such an extent that many legitimate causes became wholly unpalatable to mainstream Americans. I’m convinced that many of the people in Nixon’s silent majority were there not because they really supported U.S. policies in Vietnam, but because they detested the hippies that embodied the vocal opposition more than they distrusted Nixon.

One could almost propose that hippies are some brilliantly successful psych-ops invention meant to quell popular opposition to interventionist military policies. How can we make opposition to undeclared foreign war abroad culturally abhorrent in a democratic society? Gentlemen, I present to you: the Hippy. 

But however much it pains us, we must give credit where credit is due, and hippies have actually embraced some good ideas over the years. They may not have invented anything useful, but their knee-jerk embrace of anything countercultural has actually put a few good items in their erratically-cast hemp nets.

Legalizing marijuana: This is such a widely embraced idea now that it has almost completely escaped the cultural ghetto of the hippie. But without hippies marijuana would not have entered popular culture to the extent it has. Smoking marijuana may turn lazy people into completely useless people and dumb people into outright retards, but throwing people in jail for smoking it makes as much sense as prohibition. It will be legal in our lifetime, and future generations will look at the laws against marijuana the way we look at the outlawing of alcohol. Even elderly people in Florida are toking up before hitting the all-you-can-eat buffet.

Organic food: I once thought that organic food was a wonton excess of effete snobs and tree-hugging imbeciles. But the more information that is available today about the practices of many large agricultural corporations and the effects of many of the additives used regularly in food, the more organic food looks more unavoidably sane. With the increasing popularity of community supported agriculture, it’s possible to eat organic food without entering the orbit of the vegetarian or vegan planets.

Bicycles: Hippies embraced bicycles and helped turn a favorite childhood toy into its own obnoxious subculture. The cyclists who flout the law by breezing through red lights and riding the wrong way down one-way streets and then demand the same rights to the roads as cars share the same sense of entitlement as the hippies. But bicycles are beneficial in and of themselves and for city dwellers they are faster than most public transportation for getting around. (Full hypocrisy disclosure: I own a pickup truck but not a bicycle).

Co-ops: They are voluntary exchanges that organizers can invite or exclude whomever they want. When people think of co-ops in New York, they usually think of apartment buildings controlled by old curmudgeons or supermarkets run by bickering lefties, but who says you can’t start your own for whatever purposes you want? They are good ways to avoid the middleman and save money on things. Illegal day care co-ops are popping up as well; as parents do an end-run around long lists for local kindergarten classes and prohibitively expensive licensed daycare centers.

Preserving National Parks and Forests: Why do we leave it to the hippies to rant and rave about the loss or pollution of public land? It’s not anti-capitalist to want to have a national park. Does the name Theodore Roosevelt mean anything to you? If you like hunting, you like lots of unspoiled nature.

Don’t stop hating hippies; they are a malodorous race of useless clowns. But don’t neglect good ideas just because it may have been embraced by hippies.

1 comment:

JD Shady said...

Fuck Berkeley! That is all.