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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Where Have All The Hippies Gone?

People say I'm no good and crazy as a loon
Cause I get stoned in the mornin, get drunk in the afternoon
Kinda like my ole blue tick hound I like to lay around in the shade
And I ain't got no money but I've damn sure got it made
Preacher man talkin' on the radio, puttin' down the rock and roll
He wants me to send a donation cause he's worried about my soul
He said Jesus walked on the water and I know that it's true
But sometimes I think that preacher man might do a little walkin', too

Poor girl wants to marry and the rich girl wants to flirt

Rich man goes to college and the poor man goes to work
A drunkard wants another drink of wine and the politician wants a vote
I don't want much of nothing at all but I will take another toke

And I ain't askin' nobody for nothing
If I can't get it on my own
If you don't like the way I'm livin'
You just leave this long haired country boy alone 

(Lyrics Reprinted without permission but I make absolutely nothing from this blog, so sue me


How Did I Get Here?

I was born in the last month of the 1950s, so I grew up as a very impressionable little kid in the 1960s. I had two older brothers who were both born in the early part of the 1950s and were in their teens in the height of the "Sixties." Between television, and my parents wondering what the hell was wrong with my brothers, I had influences.

I grew up knowing that hippies liked free love, communal living, pushing societal boundaries, peace and marijuana. But I didn't know they were friggin' Socialists! They were anti-war, anti-The Man, anti-government and antidisestablishmentarianist, or something (which actually is about the Anglican Church, but I was nine in 1969, give me a break).

In any event, by the time I reached my teens I pretty much thought hippies were kind of silly and pretty much irrelevant. But there was still the influence of rejecting the "system" in favor of something closer to what we were intended for. Once you got past the naive beliefs that even I could see at my tender age, the fact was, the Civil Rights movement and the anti-Vietnam War movement had substance and meaning. They also had a profound affect on my not-as-yet-formed view of thew world. I admired people who were not afraid to stand up for what they stood for.

The song above set a 14 year-old's mind a-thinking about just what kind of life I'd rather live:
  • one where I did what I wanted and owed nobody anything
  • one where I did what I was told and owed everybody everything

The choice was clear to me. Still is.

So Hippies Taught You To Stick It To The Man, Big Friggin' Deal

You may think John Lennon was a Socialist, but you're wrong. John Lennon, the embodiment of the Peace and Love 1960s, was a libertarian--he was just so far ahead of his time politically no one knew what the hell to do with him. A lot of Lennon's post-Beatles music was, well, not to my taste, but the life he lived, especially in New York, was. For all of his bluster, the first bullet-proof vests NYPD officers had were paid for by Lennon. There had to be more to his politics than smoking pot and dreaming of a world with no religion and nothing to fight for.

Another musician who had a profound affect on me was Joe Strummer of the Clash. I came of age during the infancy of the punk movement, and even at my creaky advanced age, I still identify with those dirty people more than any other. Strummer wasn't a very nice person, and he tended toward socialism in his world-view, but he was saying something that needed to be heard. Joe was a hippie too, he was just angry about it.

What I took away from my youth can be easily demonstrated with a few of my beloved bullet-points:
  • The people who founded this country were geniuses and they started something unknown before and unrivaled since. Did they make mistakes? Yeah, so have you, and this nation has spent the last 200 years trying to fix them. So far, you've just been complaining about yours
  • John Lennon, Richard Nixon and my alcoholic 9th grade World History teacher taught me to question authority and trust what I heard and saw rather than what I was told
  • The Sex Pistols taught me the world was full of crap (including them) and the Clash taught me to think about what the hell I was thinking about
Add to that Ronald Reagan's emergence in 1976, and voila, you've got me!

The problem is, I didn't know I was in the minority. Until a few days ago, I actually thought most people thought about things the way I do. Thanks to social media I'm now realizing most people are just sheep. Sheep get turned into sweaters if they're lucky. They get slaughtered if they're not.

So When Did All Of These People Roll Over and Die (Ideologically Speaking)? 

Kent State, May, 1970
In this modern age of distractions and things we rely on that we don't really need, we get to see people's political persuasions by the witty rejoinders they post and the pictures they find on the web they incessantly share with us on the various annoying social media outlets we have become addicted to. This has taught me that there are people who used to live their lives in an anti-establishment manner who have now become the biggest bleaters in Barack Obama's sheep pen. Are they tired, burned out from too much pot, or confused? I can't take their politics seriously because they're so misguided, so if you have the answer, hit me up.

People who used to be anti-war are now pro-drone strike.

People who used to be anti-government interference are now foisting socialized medicine on the rest of us.

People who used to complain about working for a living are now...never mind. They're still complaining.

Obama flag, September, 2012
People who used to burn the flag are now paying $35 to buy this new Obama flag from Obama's campaign website.

People who used to champion civil rights now use it as a crutch to demean and undermine people they disagree with.

People who used to eschew "the Man" because he interfered with their pursuit of happiness are now actively rooting for a guy who uses his government authority to keep his enemies in check.

People who pray at the alter of rock stars and rap moguls hate people who've earned their money providing goods and services to the rest of us.

I'm Disillusioned Because People I Thought Stood For Something Were Really Just Sheeple With Daddy-Issues

What's up is down, what's down is up. What used to be a shameful thing (receiving government assistance) has now become a birthright. Government has become the ends and the means and the people who used to fear and loathe it are now it's biggest champions.

And the only thing I can figure is that Mitt Romney is white and kind of dad-like, while Obama presents the aura of being hip and cool. Has my whole life been influenced by stunted children with daddy-issues? Is my future going to be determined by these same people who should be in therapy instead of making my choices for me?

Seriously, it's time to stick it to the Man, and all of the little kids who are following him.


Better get into what you gotta get into
Better get into it now, no slacking please
United Nations ain't really united
And the organisations ain't really organised

Riki tiki tavi mongoose is gone
Riki tiki tavi mongoose is gone
Won't be coming around for to kill your snakes no more my love
Riki tiki tavi mongoose is gone

(Every)body who read the Jungle Book knows that Riki tiki tavi's a
mongoose who kills snakes
(Well) when I was a young man I was led to believe there were organisations
to kill my snakes for me
(ie the) church ie the government ie the school
(but when I got a little older) I learned I had to kill them myself

(I said) Riki tiki tavi mongoose is gone
Riki tiki tavi mongoose is gone
Won't be coming around for to kill your snakes no more my love
Riki tiki tavi mongoose is gone

(16 bars instrumental)

People walk around they don't know what they're doing
They bin lost so long they don't know what they've been looking for
Well, I know what I'm a looking for but I just can't find it
I guess I gotta look inside of myself some more

oh oh oh inside of myself some more
oh oh oh inside of myself some more

(Lyrics Reprinted without permission but I make absolutely nothing from this blog, so sue me)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sorry I am only finding this now a few years later. There are some nice gems in here! Well written and well stated!