Earlier today, I read an article in Elephant Journal about the hypocrisy of those who attend music festivals and fancy themselves hippies while simultaneously trashing the beautiful grounds where many of those festivals are held. My fiancÚ, a longtime Phish fan, told me that a groundskeeper at venue where a Phish show had just finished once said to him that the band’s fans – who are supposedly diehard hippies – were among the messiest to attend events at the venue.
Indeed, the beliefs of the original hippies – a desire to protect the environment and to work towards equal treatment of all people – have become co-opted by popular culture. Anyone with dreadlocks or a Bob Marley t-shirt can call herself a hippie.
But hippiehood is not entirely dead. Yes, it is easy to become jaded by the throngs of fake hippies and to believe that everything real and good about the original movement has been lost. But that simply is not true. There are still some real hippies out there – and it is necessary to remember the importance of the ideals they stand for. The trust fund hippies and yuppie hippies who fill Whole Food are not the end of the story. What matters are the ideals of hippiehood, not the superficial trappings. And we must keep in mind that the underlying philosophy of hippiehood is still as poignant as ever.