I think it’s time the Hippies came back.
Now I am not talking about those posers you see down at the Starbucks in their fifty dollar tye-dyed t-shirts, figuring out how they are going to get their parent’s permission to drive to Vermont to see Phish’s latest farewell concert; No not the wannabees…
… I’m talking about the tree sitting, Kent State marching, Berkley rioting, Hell No We Won’t Go, corp. of long haired freaks that pretty much kept Dick Nixon awake at nights in mortal fear that his country was going to be toppled , because the enemy, his enemy, was pretty much in every city and every town of the USA. They were the children of the very people that put him in power.
There was a book that came out in 1969 called, “We Are The People Our Parents Warned Us Against.”. It was written by Nicholas Von Hoffman . I have always loved that title. And I imagine it was pretty indicative of the times; Think of what Ozzie and Harriet must have felt like when they saw their daughter go from being a member of The Future Home Makers of America to becoming a whirling dervish while The Grateful Dead played loudly from her eight track player, or seeing their son go from captain of the football team to leader of the local SDS.
I was pretty young when the whole counter culture / Hippie movement was in full swing, but it was everywhere. It was on every street corner, it was coming out of the radios, it was on the television every night – Uncle Walter brought in to our living rooms, we watched Chicago burn that one summer; it was in the voices of Marty Balin and Grace Slick when they screamed, “Look what's happening out in the streets Got a revolution Got to revolution!”
Yes, I was young then, but I knew what was happening. I knew about that Vietnam war (you know the one Mr. Bush avoided and Mr. Kerry fought in), I knew about the struggle that Blacks were going through for equality, I knew that women were beginning to question their rights also … what I did not know until I got older was that gays and lesbians were fighting the same fight (Stonewall anyone?)… and I knew that all of these things were giving the status keepers ulcers the size of Montana.
So what happened?
Well, the bloody war finally ended and the boys (those still alive) came home. Women got what they wanted (sort of), blacks got what they wanted (sort of), gays got what they wanted (sort of) and pretty soon, there seemed nothing left to protest, and beyond that, Hippies became a joke; yogurt eating, patchouli wearing relics of a by-gone era…another way to look at this is thusly: lets go back to that song I quoted a few seconds ago and look at the seventh and eighth line of it:
One generation got old.
One generation got sold…
Yeah, guess that sums it up pretty well. Now then, back to the future.
When the Grand Old Party comes to The Big Apple this week, will the sprit of the Merry Pranksters and the Hippies be there? Will water balloons be tossed at little old ladies from Nebraska wearing their “God Chose Bush” buttons? Will the ghost of Abbie Hoffman dance nude on the podium while Condi Rice makes a speech … will the youth of America shake things up, will THEY become The People There Parents Warned Them Against? --- One can only hope---
Pick up the cry
Hey now it's time for you and me
Got a revolution Got to revolution
Come on now we're marching to the sea
Got a revolution Got to revolution
Who will take it from you?
And who are we?
We are volunteers of America---