Completely independent any single incident in my life, I have decided to stop making fun of hippies. Yes, it’s true. Please friends, I invite you to gently remind me of this if you see any hippie-bashing recidivism. However, my guess is I’m going to do well with my new behavioral policy; I employed a similar resolution to no longer make fun of my parents’ dog, which I’ve kept to rather faithfully (Wuv woo Tuck! if you’re reading this!).
My decision is mostly based on the fact it has been inferred by two individuals – one close to me and one not-so-close – that I’m a Hater. A Hater of Hippies. Please! No one loves them more than I. No one is more tickled to see their dirty bare feet in the supermarket, or more willing to drive slowly and carefully around their old bike trailers filled with random detritus. Most of my friends who know you would tell you I’m actually a Hippie-Lover – nay, many would even say I am One of Them (more on this later). But the fact is, my sense of humor and my comments (verbal; I’ve had no complaints regarding my blog yet) have apparently given some a false impression, and I’m determined to set things straight.
Complicating this issue somewhat is my (relatively) new policy in calling said individuals* Dirtees, rather than Hippies (“hippie” has a historical piece that has been by-and-by lost). I really enjoyed this phrase for a few weeks, brilliant Brain Child of mine it was. But now I have no word whatsover – no way to communicate to friends and family some of the individuals, enjoyed and disliked, whom I cross paths with. My new policy puts me in a sort of limbo when it comes to my day-to-day life; yesterday when I told Ralph, “Man, at the grocery store checkout I got stuck next to a… [mind goes blank; I’m thinking… ? …] …. um, individual who hadn’t showered recently and was wearing a Jethro Tull t-shirt with holes in the armpits.” See, this is just so much more work than using a precise two-word phrase that could get the point across.
But perhaps the biggest confusion on this issue is why I should be accused of behaving like a Hater when in fact I make many similar choices to the group I’m supposedly hating on. It occurs to me as I wash the shit out of my son’s home-dyed cloth diapers in the bathroom adjacent to where I waterbirthed him – while wearing a homemade menstrual pad and soaking beans on the stove – that if I hate the Dirtees, why do I follow so many aspects of the lifestyle? Why do I hang out with them? (Renee, Steph, and Mariah, I’m talking about you!) Why have I learned to cook with and enjoy TVP, Bragg’s, and various nasty roots you dig out of the ground? (P.S. fuck off, Jerusalem artichokes, though!) Why do I feel a thrill of excitement when confronted with some as-yet undiscovered country of Dirtee-ness (the composting toilet at the Farm comes to mind), even if I ultimately don’t choose that particular path myself? (I clean my flush commode with bleach, thank you!)
Perhaps the mystery is twofold: one, my refreshingly childlike (read = assinine) sense of humor (my current favorite thing ever is to cook ethnic food and then talk with the big phony corresponding “accent” when I serve it). I don’t particularly respect any group as immune to humor (yes, this includes child porn and Jesus jokes), so why not pick on those groups I know and love? And secondly, I was raised in a bus. A hippie bus. By real hippies. I lived in that bus until I was eight. I had a bunk bed in between that of my parents (top) and my brother (bottom). I ate brown rice all the fucking time (one of the reasons I eschew it now). I have my own thoughts on a lifestlyle “off the grid” and the experience to back it up. These formative years leave me particluarly irked occasionally by the manic fanaticism invoked by a (thankfully) few “neo-hippies” who have logged precious few hippie man-hours but are sure they are on the best path – and those types are the ones whose nipples I sometimes want to tweak (figuratively and literally!).
That said, I know my policy is a good one. When it comes down to it, it’s disrespectful to consistently pick on a single group, even if it’s one you’re included in. I suppose I am also in the group of “housewife”, “Christian”, “bitch”, and “caffeine addict” (keep ’em rolling, folks – I’m curious). Oh, and by the way? I don’t buy the, “let’s not have labels” shit. Let’s each have LOTS of labels and fill as many as we can.
And finally, I feel I should qualify one last thing: not making fun of hippies does not necessarily mean I will not laugh when others make fun of hippies. As I’ve mentioned, my sense of humor runs to general irreverance. In fact, at this point I’d really like to repeat the funniest hippie joke I’ve heard yet (from my quasi-hippie friend Steph), but that would be making fun of hippies, so I won’t. You can ask her, though.
Shit! I am late getting started on my KICKIN’ ASIAN CHICKEN! Bye for now~!
* What definition had I previously held for a Hippie / Dirtee? Well, you can read the Wikipedia article on the subject – which I find a bit dry – but to me it’s sort of a big ball of random stuff that congeals to form a pretty marked set of characteristics. These will include some or several of the following: politically left (doy!), spiritually vague but earnest (as long as it’s not too Christ-y!), a desire to be seen as “accommodating”, non-mainstream transportation (including bumming rides), a dog on a rope or perhaps no tether at all, a willingness to eat bad food, questionable and irregular hygiene, disrespectful body hair, and use of the phrases “energy” and “right on” a lot. P.S. I qualify on several of those counts.