What the hell is a neo-hippie?
Well, it sounded good when I had to come up with a title.
Ok, if I'm going to play at starting a movement, here are some basic tenets:
The means becomes the end. We cannot separate what we might wish to become from the way in which we become that thing. Or, as Emma Goldman put it:
"There is no greater fallacy than the belief that aims and purposes are one thing, while methods and tactics are another... All human experience teaches that methods and means cannot be separated from the ultimate aim."
Some things in life are like rocks, in that we can build with them or we can be broken by them. Here are the few I can think of offhand, but there are probably more:
- Money - It pays to read the fine print. Money is not the root of all evil; the love of money is the root of all evil. Money is a powerful tool by which we can acquire things we need and things we want. Where we tend to go off track is in confusing the needs with the wants. If you want to hold hands and sing kumbiyah by candlelight, fine. But do it because you want to, not because you can't afford to pay the electric and your kids are sitting in the dark.
- Sex - We make a huge deal out of all the wrong things. Wouldn't the United States be a far better place if we totally freaked out about the proliferation of child pornography and human trafficking instead of gay marriage, prostitution among consenting adults, and Janet Jackson's nipple???
It seems absurd and obscene that many parents will allow their teenage children to be exposed to graphic violence, but not to tasteful expressions of sexual love. Which of the two represents unacceptable adult behavior?
- Drugs - Prohibition doesn't work. Never has, never will. Spores from psilocybin mushrooms have been found in the same caves where our distant ancestors first recorded the experience of being human. A focus on responsible, adult drug use and harm reduction would serve us far better than the money pit that the war on drugs has become.
Guess what? Thirty-some years after Nixon ignored his own commission's findings and started targeting pot smokers, I can still drive downtown and buy a 1/4 oz of good weed with no problem. Millions of Americans (and disproportionately non-white Americans, at that) are in jail for no reason other than drug possession. But supply and demand are totally unaffected. We've simply encouraged an arms race between the police and organized crime - one which has stripped us of basic constitutional rights in the process.
- Religion - A personal faith in a higher being and a corresponding fellowship with other people is good. That's the true essence of spirituality, a basic human trait.
A relationship in which other people dictate what God wants of you is bad. That's control and manipulation - what's been called the "tyranny of the masses".
Be deadly silly. If it's absurd, laugh at it. If it's absurd and it stinks, call it shit while you laugh at it. The ridicule of outrageous behavior and thinking is one of the most powerful political weapons that a free society has.
When the planes hit the towers, I was as sick and angry as anyone. But when Bush got on the television and said that it was because the "terrorists hated our freedom" I knew our country was in deep shit, but not from terrorists.
Repeat this mantra three times. If this country's freedom is headed down the crapper, then I shall be the turd that clogs the bowl and floods the floor. ;)