The New Meaning of "Hippie"

All my so called leftist friends are freaking out on Al Gore's new movie. They've become like moonies or fundamentalists preaching the unimpeachable gospel. Such trivialities as art, music, and other pleasures of life fade away for them and they only feel worthwhile when they are convincing others to rue their ways. I'm glad they're doing it. Even if it turns out Global Warming was another Y2K, the more lucid about consequences society gets the better.

I've rued my ways for years now. I only spend about twenty bucks a month on my Honda Civic for gas. Almost everything I need is close by. West Hollywood was the first city to have citywide recyling so I've been doing that since I was a kid. I turn off lights and keep the thermostat down enough that I sweat in summer and shiver in winter, and I try to keep my friends up to date on what's going on.

My so called rightest friends are thinking the apocalypse is just around the corner. They may not agree with the Dominion Theology extremist point of view that natural resources should be gobbled up as fast as possible because it brings us closer to Jesus, but they can't really muster any enthousiasm about environmental causes when the apocalyptic end times are so near. Again.

Death and destruction on both sides, no wonder people would rather eat junk food and watch American Idol. Now, I've been called a hippie, of course. By friends and enemies. There are some resemblances. I do have long unruly hair. I do like Hindu and Egyptian religious symbols. Sex and intoxication are pastimes I enjoy, too.

But it used to be that hippie was pretty closely defined. Ronnie Van Zandt may have looked like he was a hippie but any real hippie could tell you Ronnie was really more a redneck. I'm more clean freak redneck than hippie myself, and despite my long hair, my guts are punk.

Lately I've seen a resurgence of the word hippie. From military guys threatening to beat up emo kids in MySpace Fuck the Troops groups to political pundits, the word hippie is back in vogue, right there with commie and faggot as a synonym for words like democrat, liberal, feminist, and pro-choice.

At first witnessing this curious turn of events I thought: what the hell are these people talking about? What hippies? There were never that many hippies in the first place. There are even fewer hippies now. What the hell was a hippie? Someone who adopted the Native American spiritual relationship with Mother Nature? A smelly horny long haired drug addict? Anybody who prefers peace to war? Was every person at Woodstock a hippie?

If you are reading this you are probably a hippie in the eyes of the neocons who are somehow still locked not only in the Crusades but also in the Sixties. They are still enacting some sort of primal revenge in the ultimate high school reunion horror melodrama (because hippies got blow jobs, I'm guessing from the constant reference to blow jobs whenever Bill Clinton is mentioned).

Hey, it's a tough thing not to get a blowjob in high school. Makes a man feel inferior. Even when you get powerful enough to be able to force or pay for any kind you want, well, it's still not high school. The primal rejection lives on. And it never would have been there if those damn hippies had just played by the rules.

Punk rockers, queers, tattoo lovers, emo kids, people who care about the rights of animals, most comedians and all actors and actresses, porn fans, skaters, pot smokers, nature lovers, vegetarians, most musicians, artists, people who think South Park is funny, South Park itself, organic food enthusiasts, most black and brown people, Buddhists, Moslems, athiests, and anyone else who isn't white, christian and republican, you are hippies one and all.

Welcome to being a hippie. If I may sound like a hippie for a moment, brothers and sisters, let your freak flag fly, we should be learning from each other, sharing information, we should find out what we can do when we work together. We are a community with common goals, common sense goals. We just want to have good lives and pass on as much as we can to the children, right, man?

To quote that long haired womanizing probably pot smoking reincarnation believing in Paris lovin' (and I don't mean Hilton but he would have if he could have and I bet he would have scored too) hippie Benjamin Franklin that freaky mofo: "We must all hang together, or assuredly we will all hang separately."

There's more...

You just don't have a sense of humor

The problem with you is you just don't have a sense of humor.

Ever heard that?  I can see that the spin about Bush vs. Colbert is emphasizing how much the audience laughed.  Republicans are saying that Colbert bombed and his material wasn't funny.  Democrats are defending Cobert's "balls" for speaking truthiness to power.  The problem with satire and irony is that the audience must share some common assumptions with the performer.  Sometimes it takes time to build up to laughs; a performer who relies on satire and irony might not get a reaction until late in the act.  The audience cringed at the Correspondents Dinner.  They got the references.  They just didn't know how to react.  After all, the elephant in the room was Bush.  The object of most of the humor was sitting right there.  I compare it to those times as a kid when another kid's Mom or Dad ripped into them verbally (not physically; that's a different reaction).  You might have wanted to laugh at his predicament while at the same time you were just too stunned to do so.

I foresee "sense of humor" as a continuing battleground.  I saw "American Dreamz" last night in south Orange County, California.  Of an audience of sixty-or-so, only a handful laughed out loud (including me) whenever Dennis Quaid's President character was on.  The humor was actually pretty soft, but I thing some people in the audience were offended.  It's a fine, fine line.

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Are Little Dutch Boys Good for the Country?

Another day, another leak. It seems our society sprouts leaks faster than a hybrid Dutch Boy/bionic octopus could plug them. They come from all sides and each is controversial in its own way. Valerie Plame gets outed. Sherron Watkins tattles on Enron. CIA officers freelance leaks to dampen poor decisions. White House rats on CIA folks for revenge and so on.

This spurting swirl of leaks is full of classic moral questions. When's a leak justified? Does it matter if the leak breaks a law? What do we do when we find a leaker? Does ultimately being correct justify a lenient punishment? I'm here to tell you that even though I'm omnipotent, I' m not sure what the answer is. However, I do know that anyone who sees this as a black and white, merely academic exercise is driving around with the lights off and the blinders on.

The recent CIA leak is a case in point.

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Official Launch of WEST WINGERS on

Announcing the debut of WEST WINGERS on!

Two episodes are up now, with more on the way every other week. This week's episode: Wiretapping.

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Paging those Funny Liberals: MockSantorum!

My friend, and fellow Young Philly Politics blogger, Ray Murphy, recently started a wonderful group:  Philadelphians Against Santorum.  Philly Against Santorum (PAS) is a group that is aiming to do what Moveon did in Philly in 2004:  pump local turnout by going door to door, and ensure Santorum goes down in flames.  Ray was the Philly chief for Moveon in 2004, so, he is eminently qualified to undertake such a huge task.

And, now, fellow bloggers, PAS needs your help:  Ray has launched a contest, (with prizes!) and I think many on MyDD and the entire liberal blogosphere would be wonderful participants:  It is called MockSantorum.

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