Tag Archives: hippies

Being a Hippie Changes Something

Moby Grape

Moby Grape – my first rock and roll record purchase

Action Schema

This schema comes from a Tumblr blog. I discovered it via a Google image search.


I discovered this graphic via Google image search.

Hippie Action Schema

I put them together.

There is no reason to take a schema seriously if its context is a Google image search. I know because of my skillfulness in psychology that color used as a verb won’t cut it as an apt description of the psychological process that underlies intentional action. But, heck, I like the way the hippie graphic can be plugged in to the schema.

So, as hippies sometimes do, I just plug it in.


Damn, I am mostly bald forty-seven years after the Summer of Love.


I sometimes answer the question, What is your background? this way:

Being a hippie, and, music.

Many times this response compels a questioner of my age cohort to lean forward and in a near whisper reply:

I used to be a hippie.

Hippies were made fun of back in their heyday, and, old hippies remain low hanging targets. In the late nineties ‘hippie’ became the term on the internet for lumping liberals with progressives. This eventually led to concise formulas such as: Obama becoming President is all the fault of the hippies.


Hoon and pal Catherine at the Richmond Vermont commune, 1974

Although I moved to Vermont at 19 and spent formative years as a hippie in that most hippie-flavored state, its political blueness is the exception to the longstanding geography that demonstrates clearly that contemporary hippiedom is, quantitatively speaking, almost entirely a cosmopolitan phenomena.

For me, the essential character of my core hippie lesson is: experiment and retain negative capability against the pressure supplied by opportunities for belief.

Or, as John Lilly put it:

My beliefs are unbelievable.

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Happy Birthday Gilbert Shelton



Before Garfield, Fat Freddy’s cats.

From Fat Freddy’s Cats, Volume 4Gilbert Shelton

In Conversation from The Comics Journal

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to “flee” the world is to construct one in which flight is possible

“One of the Worst Things About Being a Hippie Was Lunch”

Radical perspectives

Poet and Critic Stephen Ellis. [speaking of a different subject]: Keeping in mind that the tail of any potentially destructive comet equally provides the instant of light by which we may read Genesis, the course of the imagination of its traverse constitutes the writing on the wall that makes from sheer somatic desire the political heat of inter-relation expressed in terms of a musically comedic persona dramatis of Amritamanthanean dimension, ie., “Let’s burn down the cornfield”. One can be martyred by possible ends only by neglecting to imagine their effects in the present; the fear of death is generative, of bright desire, which defines the literal edge one must occupy in order to gratefully receive any “cosmic collision.” To imagine from this perspective that objects, events and persons have a lifetime, limits and an end, might be sufficient to imagining, clarifying and “believing” (acting upon) what those limits most actually are; the world is made of made passes, and to put one in receivership of same includes the possibility of being hit on the head by the selfsame comet, the tail of whose brilliant passage one’s used to illuminate the selfsame fear out of which one had spoken (and hoped to escape), and from (within) which one continues now to speak (flee). Escape entails utter confrontation; to “flee” the world is to construct one in which flight is possible. (JFK’s Head Blown Out from a Cosmic Inflationary Spiral: Stephen Ellis on Poetry, Jack Clarke, Palestine, Position-Taking, the End of the World, and Cyberpoetry; in Volume 5, Jack Magazine)


The Source Family (Trailer) from Eternal Now on Vimeo.

Why do hippies wave their arms when they dance?

To keep the music out of their eyes.

Director/Writer: Marcus Robbin. Broadcast 2002.

I have spoken of a possible crisis, of the eventuality of a crisis of the system. The forces that contribute to such a crisis would have to be discussed in great detail. I believe that we must see this crisis as the confluence of very disparate subjective and objective tendencies of an economic, political, and moral nature, in the East as well as the West. These forces are not yet organized on a basis of solidarity. They have no mass basis in the developed countries of advanced capitalism. Even the ghettos in the United States are in the initial stage of attempted politicization. And under these conditions it seems to me that the task of the opposition is first the liberation of consciousness outside of our own social group. For in fact the life of everyone is at stake, and today everyone is part of what Veblen called the “underlying population,” namely the dominated. They must become conscious of the horrible policy of a system whose power and pressure grow with the threat of total annihilation. They must learn that the available productive forces are used for the reproduction of exploitation and oppression and that the so-called free world equips itself with military and police dictatorships in order to protect its surplus. This policy can in no way justify the totalitarianism of the other side, against which much can and must be said. But this totalitarianism is not expansive or aggressive and is still dictated by scarcity and poverty. This does not change the fact that it must be fought – but from the left.

Now the liberation of consciousness of which I spoke means more than discussion. It means, and in the current situation must mean, demonstrations, in the literal sense. The whole person must demonstrate his participation and his will to live, that is, his will to live in a pacified, human world. The established order is mobilized against this real possibility. And, if it harms us to have illusions, it is just as harmful, perhaps more harmful, to preach defeatism and quietism, which can only play into the hands of those that run the system. The fact is, that we find ourselves up against a system that from the beginning of the fascist period to the present has disavowed through its acts the idea of historical progress, a system whose internal contradictions repeatedly manifest themselves in inhuman and unnecessary wars and whose growing productivity is growing destruction and growing waste. Such a system is not immune. It is already defending itself against opposition, even that of intellectuals, in all corners of the world. And even if we see no transformation, we must fight on. We must resist if we still want to live as human beings, to work and be happy. In alliance with the system we can no longer do so. – Herbert Marcuse, conclusion The Problem of Violence and the Radical Opposition

Also: Liberation From An Affluent Society 1967


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We Are Stardust

Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devils bargain
And weve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden.
excerpt, Woodstock, by Joni Mitchell

In August 1969, I was 14 years old, and spending the summer with my cousins and aunt and uncle outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. One of my cousins suggested that we go up to the music festival in Woodstock. This was vetoed by my uncle in explicit terms, ‘It’s no place for a 14 year old.’

He knew something I didn’t know. In truth, I was not a hippie at the time, wasn’t much in tune with the tie-dyed times, and was not anywhere near as motivated as my cousin, a college student.

However, noting this reminds me of how much on the cusp I was at the time. By the fall of 1969 I had undergone various initiations and soon was long-haired and full of authority-questioning notions. Etc.. As it turned out, in my new school, several of the seniors and juniors had made the trek to Woodstock. It sounded fun and I understood from their tales what my uncle must have meant.

Counter-culture. Thank goodness for it. Survived it; learned a ton; got some of the current in my cells; had many adventures; continued to be informed by the transformative ripples.

It was a tough time–full of wreckage for greatest generation parents. There’s much I might say, doors of perception and stuff, but, instead I would like to introduce a map showing in what locations the counter-culture took hold (in blue).

By the way, this also is a map of the Presidential vote in 2008. Red=not hippies.

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