Sunday, August 05, 2007

The End of Hippiedom

So got back from my walk, it is so damn muggy. I forgot to take a hat and the sun came out half way through, probably have a red nose tomorrow, hopefully not a red scalp. I took my shirt off. Not too many people out, hopefully no young children were traumatized by The Great White Whale ("Big as a mountain and white as the show, it's Moby Dick!"). I still tan on my trunk, but the 1st thing that happens after exposure to sun is that the hair on my chest all turns bright shiny white. I don't seem to tan at all from the knees down, I think from my 12 years of refereeing soccer and having a soccer tan from wearing knee socks.

So got home, needed to cool off before showering so I did another post (2 in 1 day!), somehow got my Blogger cookies/state screwed up by changing a setting, lost the post. Grrr. I've cooled off enough to shower now, but will try to recreate this while it's still fresh in my mind.

Anyway, there are some of my raps that I have been forgetting for years to add to this blog. Some have made it, like My Greatest Blasphemies, others haven't. So I had a good idea to help me remember these. Whenever I think of one, I e-mail it to myself at my home account, where I blog from. I have for years used the inbox of my e-mail as my todo list, both at work and at home. An e-mail that requires action, a response, or more thought stays in the inbox until it is processed (or it times out), at which point it is filed in an appropriate folder or deleted/archived. Crazy that I just thought to send e-mails to myself when I need to remember to do something. But, ain't having an exocortex great!

During most of my Cambridge/Boston years 1968-1974 I was a hippie. In high school, I had a friend, who was generally regarded as our token beatnik, who turned me on to Herman Hesse, "Steppenwolf", "Siddhartha", "The Bead Game" and other similar literature, and to Mississippi Delta blues. He also wanted to turn me on to smoking pot, but in the stupefying naivete of my youth ("the weenie factor" -- I graduated high school just before I turned 17), I didn't realize this until years later. He later was a Louisville blues singer for years.

I started playing music in around 1965. When I got to MIT in the fall of 1968, I had a great collection of psychedelic music and my heros were Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, and The Grateful Dead. It took a very short time for the hippie contingent of my living group and me to realize we were kindred spirits. So I lived various aspects of the hippie lifestyle until I moved back to Jeffersonville in 1974 (but city hippie rather than country hippie).

So my contention is that Woodstock, in the summer of 1969, was the beginning of the end of the hippie movement. My bass player at the time went, I was working as a welder at JeffBoat to make money for college, I didn't go.

Woodstock was three days of great music, great drugs, and great fellowship, with lots of free love going around -- and Nothing Happened. Back then, we really thought that we could Change Things, in potentially magical ways. So with all the great vibes of Woodstock, Something should have happened:

  • the mother ship should have landed and taken on some passengers, or
  • a group mind should have formed, or
  • superpowers like telepathy and levitation should have manifested.
But, aside from the usual births, deaths, and dancing, Nothing Happened. And this was the beginning of the end of hippiedom.

I think that the one lasting legacy of the hippie movement was the birth of the environmental movement. Hippies were its parents.

1 comment:

Emerald said...

Slaphead, your friend is sick. VERY sick. As in the hospital sedated and on a ventilator sick.
I'm trying to marshall all available energy/karma/whatever for her. Either email me (stacy.lynne AT gmail dot com) or comment my blog with a way to get in touch.
She could use all of us.