Confessions of a former flower child...
Here was my shrill response (embellished a wee bit here for poetic license):
"Hippie? Excuse me, but I will take airy-fairy, tree hugger or eccentric New Ager but I am NOT a hippie. Angels, crystals, tarot cards, Reiki yes, yes, and yes...but hello? I bathe regularly and Patchouli? Pa-YUCKY. And I do not smoke the ganga or have hemp clothing and I'm sorry, burning one's bra is just plain silliness. I paid a lot of good money for my bras (TMI?) and I am not about to burn my underwire, lacy number from Victoria's Secret or let the girls flap in the wind just to make some sort of feminist point. "I am woman, see me sag?"...I mean sure---if the whole ethanol fuel thing takes off and windmill energy-powered cities crop up everywhere then that's fabulous, but I think the only thing more annoying than a Vegan lifestyle would be well...frankly I can't think of anything more annoying. Because animals? Are delicious. And they make lovely shoes, belts and jackets at times, too. So there goes that argument."
Flower power used to mean 'revolution' and antidisestablishmentarianism (yes---it IS a big word for being a rebel or anarchist which are just polite terms for being a total pain in the ass)...Now it means a cute, floral-patterned top from Old Navy or picking up the occasional cheerful bunch of sunflowers to brighten the apartment. Does this make me shallow? Hey---I like Bob Dylan and John Lennon as much as the next gal. I am all for world peace. But I simply fail to see how me growing my armpit hair into smelly dreads will help achieve that crucial objective.
Maybe neo-hippie is a more accurate label? Sorta seems like a combination yuppie/hippie. Sure--I vote liberal and sometimes wear earth shoes and drink Starbucks and shop at Whole Foods...but you will never see me sporting a tie-dyed anything. And I will not be growing my own food in a container garden on my fire escape or be caught dead or alive chanting cumbaya around a campfire. I would sooner vote Republican.
Growing up, I can distinctly remember my health-conscious mother making yummy rice krispy treats with peanut butter, honey and raisins instead of the marshmallow and butter that other moms used to use. I can also distinctly recall the other kids at CCD (The Catholic afterschool version of religiously brainwashing kids...but with SNACKS) asking me if the raisins were bugs. In retrospect I realize that wasn't very Christian of them. But I think even Jesus snickered at that one. Needless to say I wasn't such a fan of the peanut butter/honey snap, crackle and pop treats after that.
In other words, in some things it pays to conform. When it comes to torching one's lingerie to prove one's equality with the half of the population who wear jock straps rather than brassieres...well...call me a rebel but I just don't see the point.
So what would constitute a hippie today? Peace rallies are a wonderful idea in the abstract but I'd rather get zen and meditate...envisioning a world in which people don't need to rally for peace...because their very essence embodies peace. I'd rather get together with like-minded people (or even differently minded people who can articulate their opinions well) to discuss how we can all achieve our creative goals and dreams than circulate emails about troops torturing small children. This isn't about being an ostrich or an idealist. It is a conscious choice to say 'pfffft' to the fearmongering media.
The hybrid car is a wonderful idea. Recycling is extremely environmentally sound. It just makes sense. Waste not, want not and hey---how about not turning Mother Earth's backyard into a giant landfill are valid principles to aspire to...But doing all those socially correct things and then engaging in the sociopathic kind of road rage where you are flipping off random strangers and cursing their as-yet unborn great-grandkids....hmmm, then perhaps the priorities are just a tiny smidgen skewed?
Someday, we shall overcome self-imposed stereotypes and limitations. We'll outgrow our labels and create bigger picture language. But in the meantime...please don't eat the daisies...or call me a hippie. Unless you want the peace sign I make to go from two fingers to one.
Oh and P.S. Yes I am aware that one of the pics above features me in a mini-mullet and the other has the creepy floating head effect...what can I say? It was the seventies and some school photographer on LSD probably thought it was 'far out'.