THE HIPPIES WON
In 1968 a study concluded that most Americans thought that personal happiness was more important than a successful career. This report sent a shudder through corporate America. This was a first-time event that portended future conflict between industry and the public.
The capitalist ideologues started funding various right-wing think tanks to figure out how to counteract this upsetting social trend. Their solution—the ’80s! Make greed good, palatable and even desirable. People will work harder. Fight unions to death. Pull the “class war” card whenever they want to lower taxes for the very rich. They thought they had pulled it off and were close to winning.
But look around and you see that Hippie values and social morays have captured the hearts and minds of America and much of the Western world. And the re-evaluation of our economic system is heating up.
Rather than ponderous arguments, here are some changes brought to you by the Hippies:
Living Together—Before the late ’60s it was unusual for young couples to live together without being married.
Ecology—Hippies were the first to tell the world to not use, to re-use and to recycle.
Environment—The first mass movement in America that told us to “Love Our Mother”—that is, Mother Earth. They warned of global warming and the population explosion.
Women’s Rights—Hippies were the first to bring feminine consciousness to the forefront.
Civil Rights—The white end of the Civil Rights Movement was heavily populated by Hippies willing to do organizing and participate in civil disobedience.
ANTI-VIETNAM WAR—Despite claims by historical (hysterical?) revisionists that the protests prolonged the war, there is no doubt that the demonstrations, teach-ins, civil disobedience and education campaigns led to national revulsion of U.S. involvement. THE HIPPIES STOPPED THE WAR.
Happiness—Most people still believe that personal happiness is more important than career success. They are always busy or working, but it’s not their fault. It’s just that they have to work so much harder just to tread water. This is the new next issue.
Animal Rights—Animals should not be mistreated or tortured. They are conscious beings.
Economic Justice—We need a new scorecard.
Veggie Diets—A staple of Hippie communes—now at a food store or restaurant near you. This saves millions of lives, of both animals and humans, every year.
Which of these important issues is most important to you? Would you like to list them? Comments welcome.
I am reserving #1 as you probably noticed, for Anti-Vietnam War. This was an incredible, heroic life-saving effort by millions of Hippies and their friends.
Oh—I forgot a few items:
Healthy Drug Experimentation—Just where would the world be without the widespread use of acid, psilocybin and ecstasy? For instance, would we have evolved the personal computer and the Internet without it?
MARIJUANA—Automatic #2—America is adopting weed as its herb of choice. Without the Hippies and the YIPPIES!, where would marijuana be today? Not too available and—NOT LEGAL. Like using that legal pot? Thank those politically active Hippies and especially the YIPPIES!—their extreme wing. (Abbie Hoffman, Ben Masel, Dana Beal, Steve DeAngelo, and Debbie Goldsberry are just a few of the YIPPIES! who have had a profound effect on changing the marijuana laws.)
The Last Supper for Ed Rosenthal
Photo: © Robert Altman 2003
Left to right:
• Will Durst (Comedian and salient political wit)
• Barry Melton (Famed defense attorney and big “Fish” with Country Joe)
• Eric Christensen (ABC sports producer)
• Bruce Bellingham (San Francisco Examiner‘s boy wonder columnist)
• Dr. “Hip” or Eugene Schoenfeld (Writer and shrink to the stars)
• Lee Houskeeper (Renown press agent—standing busboy)
• Ed Rosenthal (The Man himself in center field)
• Herb Gold (Celebrated author of 40 books)
• Phil Frank (San Francisco Chronicle‘s “Farley” cartoonist)
• Chet Helms (Our Father of the Summer of Love, impresario and gallery owner)
• Wavy Gravy (Served breakfast in bed to half a million at Woodstock—clown and Ben & Jerry’s flavor)
• Dr. Lawrence Brilliant (Legendary scientist, doctor and SEVA board chairman)
• Merl Saunders (Musical prodigy—duet albums with Jerry Garcia)