The Hippies Were Right!

by on January 17, 2008 · 3 comments

in Environment, War and Peace

Green homes? Organic food? Nature is good? Time To Give The Ol’ Tie-Dyers Some Respect

by Mark Morford

Go ahead, name your movement. Name something good and positive and pro-environment and eco-friendly that’s happening right now in the newly “greening” America and don’t say more guns in Texas or fewer reproductive choices for women or endless vile unwinnable BushCo wars in the Middle East lasting until roughly 2075 because that would defeat the whole point of this perky little column and destroy its naive tone of happy rose-colored sardonic optimism. OK?

I’m talking about, say, energy-efficient light bulbs. I’m looking at organic foods going mainstream. I mean chemical-free cleaning products widely available at Target and I’m talking saving the whales and protecting the dolphins and I mean yoga studios flourishing in every small town, giant boxes of organic cereal at Costco and non-phthalates dildos at Good Vibes and the Toyota Prius becoming the nation’s oddest status symbol. You know, good things.

Look around: we have entire industries devoted to recycled paper, a new generation of cheap solar-power technology and an Oscar for “An Inconvenient Truth” and even the soulless corporate monsters over at famously heartless joints like Wal-Mart are now claiming that they really, really care about saving the environment because, well, “it’s the right thing to do” (read: It’s purely economic and all about their bottom line because if they don’t start caring they’ll soon be totally screwed on manufacturing and shipping costs at/from all their brutal Chinese sweatshops).

There is but one conclusion you can draw from the astonishing (albeit fitful, bittersweet) pro-environment sea change now happening in the culture and (reluctantly, nervously) in the halls of power in D.C., one thing we must all acknowledge in our wary, jaded, globally warmed universe: The hippies had it right all along. Oh yes they did.

You know it’s true. All this hot enthusiasm for healing the planet and eating whole foods and avoiding chemicals and working with nature and developing the self? Came from the hippies. Alternative health? Hippies. Green cotton? Hippies. Reclaimed wood? Recycling? Humane treatment of animals? Medical pot? Alternative energy? Natural childbirth? Non-GMA seeds? It came from the granola types (who, of course, absorbed much of it from ancient cultures), from the alternative worldviews, from the underground and the sidelines and from far off the goddamn grid and it’s about time the media, the politicians, the culture as a whole sent out a big, wet, hemp-covered apology.

Here’s a suggestion, from one of my more astute ex-hippie readers: Instead of issuing carbon credits so industrial polluters can clear their collective corporate conscience, maybe, to help offset all the savage damage they’ve done to the soul of the planet all these years, these commercial cretins should instead buy some karma credits from the former hippies themselves. You know, from those who’ve been working for the health of the planet, quite thanklessly, for the past 50 years and who have, as a result, built up quite a storehouse of good karma. You think?

[for the rest of this article, go here to CommonDreams.]

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar J.Stone January 17, 2008 at 10:32 am

The Hippies were/are right about a lot more. To quote Elvis Costello ” What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding”

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avatar OB Joe January 17, 2008 at 5:41 pm

After wading through the entire piece, reading the ending was the reward:
“It was, always and forever, about connectedness. It was about how we are all in this together. It was about resisting the status quo and fighting tyrannical corporate/political power and it was about opening your consciousness and seeing new possibilities of how we can all live with something resembling actual respect for the planet, for alternative cultures, for each other. You know, all that typical hippie crap no one believes in anymore. Right?”
Right on, bro!!

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avatar Goatskull January 13, 2013 at 7:32 pm

Back in my snarling angry punk rock/skinhead days (early 80’s) we were very anti hippie yet without realizing it we completely embraced most of the hippie virtues. Anti war (tho we did like getting into fights for no valid reason), anti nukes, anti fascism, anti racism, pro environment, etc. Joe Strummer through out most of his career ranted about his disdain for hippies yet was very involved in progressive causes. Shortly before his death he came the conclusion that in reality he was a hippie and reached acceptance.

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