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What Happened to the Hippies?
This question has bothered me for some time. I look around, do a little mental math, and figure that all these 50-60 year olds walking around would have been part of the hippie countercultural movement and I wonder, if there were so many hippies running around as its been depicted then where did they all go? Surely some would have passed on their hippy ways to their children as well.
Instead I look around and see bland consumers...
"ALT-X: Hippies were these rich kids?
The leading theory, one supported by a little bit of poking around on the web is that Hippies were 1) not as significant a cultural movement as proported by popular media portrayals and 2) Hippies were actually nothing more than a consumer movement, one based on the new revelation that mass marketers could make a killing selling sex to young people. Liberation, while a legitimate lifestyle choice for some was for others nothing more than a reason to spend their parent's money and sow their oats before retreating to a more conservative lifestyle of work and child rearing. And while this meant a shift in the cultural makeup of society it didn't lead in the direction that some might have thought, namely, that we would all drop out of the rat race and live simple lives in harmonious communion with nature and each other. A quick look around shatters that illusion. What happened instead was a broad new avenue of marketing opened up, giving us the super sexed-up trends of today. Parents, once possibly hippies themselves, see their children's indulgence in various trends; punk, hip-hop, rave, goth, grunge, etc. as understandable, as long as their kiddies eventually grow up and get jobs. Most do. You have to in order to support your consumptive habits.
Some of the underlying ideals of the hippie culture, ones shared by movements that have followed, that individuality should not be subjugated by the corporate state were shelved on favor of creating a lifestyle image that could be marketed. In short, any anti-consumer component of any trend will be stripped out before it reaches the mainstream. By the time it reaches critical mass it must have evolved into a matter of purchase decisions; music, books, brands, clothes, hairstyles, location etc... Nothing that would affect you future lucrative career as a cog.
Well, that's my theory and I'm sticking to it. Until a better one comes along...
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