The Young Hippies
by Skip Stone
The Young Hippies
There’s a whole generation with a new explanation.
John Phillips/Scott McKenzie (San Francisco)
I was very surprised to find when I started Hippyland that I wasn’t
just attracting old hippies like myself. There seems to be a large contingent
of young people who consider themselves hippies. If Hippyland is any indication,
they are legion. In fact, 85% of Hippyland’s huge audience is under 30.
What does this mean? To me it means the time is right for the second coming….of
hippies. From what I can see, this new group from another generation has
what it takes.
The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.
John F. Kennedy
This new cohort of hippies is facing the same trials and tribulations
we did, excluding Vietnam. Our mail indicates that these people view Hippyland
as an island refuge in a sea of intolerance, apathy, hypocrisy, and violence.
On Hippyland they can express themselves, communicate with others of their
species, learn more about hippies, form communities and evolve.
Get up, stand up! Stand up for your right! Don’t give up the fight!
Bob Marley (Get Up, Stand Up!)
From the rants on the Protest Page and in Hippyland’s forums, it appears
that intolerance is rampant especially among young people. Young hippies
feel discrimination, rejection, even humiliation from their peers. It’s
as politically incorrect to be a hippy these days as it ever was. In fact
non-conformity leads to alienation which can lead to worse things, like
violence. Take Columbine High School as a good example.
Cannot believe what I see.
All I have wished for will be.
All our race proud and free.
Donovan (Wear Your Love Like Heaven)
Yet these young hippies continue to go out among their cohorts spreading
the simple message of love and peace. Unfortunately, many feel alone. In
small towns they often stand out like a Peter Max poster in a funeral home.
They long for acceptance. Once they discover other hippies their age that
they can talk to (often on the Internet), they find the courage to face
the intolerance of their home towns.
When others demand that we become the people they want us to be,
they force us to destroy the person we really are. It’s a subtle kind of
murder. The most loving parents and relatives commit this murder with smiles
on their faces.
Like the hippies before them, they long for community, and are willing
to uproot themselves from home and family to find it. Many are seeking
out communes, forming drum circles, starting websites, traveling around
the country and the world, seeking freedom and fellowship.
Many of these young hippies, amazingly are anti-drug. A few of them
have really good reasons, but for many it’s still an indication of the
indoctrination from the anti-drug programs at school. These individuals
lump all drugs in the same category, and can’t distinguish among soft,
hard, prescription, and those accepted by society like alcohol and tobacco.
They see all illegal drugs as dangerous or deadly. Many grow out of this
prejudice and open their minds. It’s not necessary to do drugs to be a
hippy, but tolerance and understanding about drugs is essential.
So who are these young hippies? From what I can determine, they’re a
very diverse group who arrived on the hippy scene via different paths.
There’s ravers, wiccans, punks, pagans, and a lot of Christians. Most are
American but there’s lots of Canadians, English, Dutch, German, Swedish,
Russians, Czech, Brazilians even Japanese. In fact just about every country
has hippies (source: Hippyland’s logs).
What are these young folk into? Let’s examine two groups, the ravers
and punks, and their lifestyles. The rave scene is highly developed in
Europe. Indoor and outdoor venues cater to a mostly young crowd who come
to experience the electronic music, their friends, and certain psychedelic
drugs. The music varies from light trance to heavy hardcore with 160 beats
per minute. The bass registers in your gut and you can’t help but move
to it, while the rhythm and synthetic sounds put you in a hypnotic state.
The feeling of dancing to the heavy house beat of a different drummer with
hundreds or thousands of others is an energizing, uplifting high in itself.
Under the influence of Ecstacy, Mushrooms, or LSD it’s like merging into
a group mind.
The ravers are a natural progression from the hippies and represent
the Kesey school of experiencing the world (albeit an artificial one) under
the influence of psychedelics. Like the ’60s acid tests, the group experience
is what’s important here. Fortunately ravers don’t drink a lot of alcohol
since it doesn’t mesh well with other drugs, so you don’t get the aggression
of a Woodstock ’99 mosh pit.
The rave scene is segmented not just by the variety of music and drugs
but by attitude. There’s an interesting offshoot called candy ravers. They
like their candy (drugs), but they also subscribe to a philosophy that
goes by the acronym PLUR, which stands for Peace, Love, Understanding and
Respect. They’ve formed a tight, loving community. These young ravers have
the hippy spirit and are eager to learn more and join forces with other
Many punks follow the hippy philosophy, with their own radical twists.
They reject the existing system and authority. Many adopt alternative lifestyles,
some even eschewing drugs and alcohol (straight edge punks). They are dissatisfied
with the social program and the limited opportunities available since most
restrict their freedom. Their attitude and extreme dress (not to mention
things like piercings) make them stand out as easy targets for scorn and
ridicule (like hippies). Their loud music is full of important messages
that need to be heard. Unfortunately, even us old hippies have trouble
listening to it, just like our parents and our music.
I think many of these punks whose philosophy is non-violent, but seek
change and freedom are certainly welcome among hippies. They may dress
weird, listen to different music, and have unusual lifestyles, but as long
as their attitude is one of cooperation and respect they can be a part
of the movement. In fact they might be the ones to challenge our tolerance,
our values, and our agenda, forcing us to re-evaluate our own philosophy.
This is healthy and should be encouraged.
You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time;
all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.
If you subscribe to Lawrence Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development,
which says that moral development is conditional upon being exposed to
role models that exhibit different levels of morality, then you might have
some hope for humanity. Then we can assume that young people, if exposed
to higher levels of morality, will adopt that morality. There is no limit
to how far we can go, so long as we have appropriate models to learn from.
Keep the Faith!
The crisis in morality that we are facing today is due to the lack of
good role models for young people. Let’s see… We have a president who lies
to the public and to his family. We have the richest man in the world whose
idea of success is to crush his rivals, dominate an industry, and has so
much money that he hasn’t a clue what to do with it (although he is now
coming around). We have minority sports figures who hawk clothes and get
paid more just for the use of their name and face than all the people in
third world countries making those clothes. We have another man running
for president who refuses to acknowledge his own drug use, yet passes more
stringent drug laws that would’ve put him in prison. In ghettos, we have
drug dealers as the most successful role models.
So what do we get? We get a government that lies to its people to control
them. We get industry that pursues short-term profits regardless of long-term
damage to world ecology. We get children killing each other in school because
of social ostracism for non-conformity. We get jails full of people doing
time for victimless drug crimes.
The solution? A revolution in education is required. Every child should
have a number of options available for education. Self-education must be
encouraged so each child can pursue his or her interests apart from the
majority. Self-pacing is essential so each student can absorb knowledge
as quickly or slowly as necessary without waiting for others or failing
to keep up. Communication between student and teachers (one student might
have a number of teachers in one subject) will become more direct, more
frequent and more effective. Thanks to the technology available now (computers
and the Internet), this is not only possible but the most efficient system
for education. These changes will minimize the typical brainwashing we’ve
been putting our children through. We are about to witness the most significant
change in education, EVER! (Pluto in Sagittarius for the next 20 odd years
will make it so).
It’s going to take a revolution in education, (one that includes morality
and ethics as well as appropriate role models like hippies), coordination
and communication, and unification of hippies young and old (via sites
like Hippyland) to create a vibrant atmosphere for another movement. So
let’s join forces with these Young Hippies and set a new agenda for the
A Message to Young Hippies
Now is the time for all young hippies to come to the aid of their planet.
Yes, I mean that. We need you now! I know you’re young, inexperienced and
unsure of yourselves. Our society has a plan for each of you. You can conform
and be a part of the system, or you can discover who you really are, and
express your unique individuality. The system has little tolerance for
self-expression if it veers beyond the acceptable conformity. You’ve probably
already experienced the alienation this engenders.
We, the old, tired hippies offer you a pact. We offer you our wisdom,
our resources (yes, some of us have money), our considerable skills, our
time and attention. In return you provide us your enthusiasm, your energy,
your voices, your concerns. We can teach you our ways, you can teach us
yours. Together we must discuss, organize, prioritize, coordinate, motivate,
and activate our brethren.
We must develop an agenda for the new millennium. We must save our planet.
We must demand tolerance. We must fight injustice. We must change the system.
We must take only what we need. We must be examples to others. We must
show them how futile and wasteful their programmed lives are. We must promote
PLUR, Peace, Love, Understanding and Respect.
A friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself.
We tired old hippies embrace you, surround you with LOVE, welcome you
into our community, and initiate you into the tribe. You have a peer group
without peer. We are your true family. Two (or three) generations together
can do far more than one generation could possibly dream. We have a great
deal of unfinished business that needs tending. Time is running out for
those who want to make a difference. Join us, and together we will change
the world for the better.
Hippyland is just one place where we can meet and make our plans. Hippies
of all ages are welcome. Online communities are forming now. It’s your
life, your planet, your future.
Posted by: skip