Hippie (also hippy) is a term originally used to describe some of the rebellious youth of the 1960s and 1970s. The word "hippie" was popularized by the late San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen. Caen's articles were always written with the help of notes and letters from his San Francisco fan base. He is also credited as among the first to include the words beatnik and yuppie in his column. Though not a cohesive cultural movement with manifestos and leaders, some hippies expressed their desire for change with communal or nomadic lifestyles, by renouncing corporate influence, consumerism and the Vietnam War, by embracing aspects of non-Judeo-Christian religious cultures (including much Eastern philosophy), and with criticism of Western middle class values.
Such criticism included the views that the government was paternalistic, corporate industry was greedy and domineering, traditional morals were askew, and war was inhumane. The structures and institutions they rejected came to be called The Establishment.
Hippies of the time were interested in "tuning in to their inner minds" (with or without drugs, mystic meditation) and improving mainstream society. Influence in hippie culture is sometimes akin to Eastern religions, philosophies, and associations. Although mainstream culture is not associated with hippie ways, modern hippies nonetheless exist as made apparent on sites such as Hippyland and events such as Rainbow Family Gatherings.
- 1 Origins
- 2 Politics
- 3 Drugs
- 4 Legacy
- 5 Characteristics
- 6 Pejorative connotations
- 7 Hippy
- 8 See also
- 8.1 European countercultures after WW2
- 9 External links
- 10 Bibliography
In the 1940s and 1950s the term "hipster" came into usage by the American Beat generation to describe jazz and swing music performers, and evolved to also describe the bohemian-like counterculture that formed around the art of the time.
The 1960s hippie culture evolved from the beat culture, and was greatly influenced by changing music style and the creation of rock & roll from jazz.
The first use of the word Hippie on Television was on WNBC TV Channel 4 in New York City at the opening of the New York World's Fair in 1964. Some young Anti-Vietnam War protesters, wearing t-shirts, denim jeans and with long hair like The Beatles, were called Hippies by NYPD and reporters. The police swung their batons at them to chase them off the escalators and they fought back.
On the East coast of the U.S., in Greenwich Village, young counterculture advocates were called, and referred to themselves as "hips". To be "hip" meant at that time, "to be in the know". Young disaffected youth from the suburbs of New York City flocked to the Village in their oldest clothes, to fit into the counterculture movement, the coffee houses, etc. Radio station WBAI was the first media outlet to use the term "hippie" to describe the poorly-dressed middle class youths as a pejorative term originally meaning "hip wannabes".
September 6, 1965, marked the first San Francisco newspaper story, by Michael Fellon, that used the word "hippie" to refer to younger bohemians. The name did not catch on in mass media until almost two years later.
Hippie action in the San Francisco area, particularly the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, centered around the Diggers, a guerrilla street theater group that combined spontaneous street theater, anarchistic action, and art happenings in their agenda of creating a "free city". The San Francisco Diggers grew from two radical traditions thriving in the area in the mid-1960s: the bohemian/underground art/theater scene, and the new left/civil rights/peace movement.
Los Angeles also had a vibrant hippie scene in the mid-'60s, arising from a combination of the L.A. beat scene centered around Venice and its coffeehouses, which spawned the Doors, and the Sunset Strip, the quintessential L.A. hippie gathering area, with its seminal rock clubs, such as the Whisky-a-Go-Go, and the Troubadour just down the hill. The Strip was also the location of the actual protest referred to in the Buffalo Springfield's early hippie anthem of 1966, For What It's Worth.
Summer 1967 in Haight-Ashbury became known as the "Summer of Love" as young people gathered (75,000 by police estimates) and shared the new culture of music, drugs, and rebellion. The outdoor 'human be-in' concert started the 'Summer of Love'However, the Diggers felt co-opted by media attention and interpretation, and at the end of the summer held a Death of Hippie parade.
The hippie movement reached its height in the late 1960s, as evidenced by the July 7, 1967 issue of TIME magazine, which had for its cover story: The Hippies: The Philosophy of a Subculture.
Because many hippies wore flowers in their hair and distributed flowers to passersby, they earned the alternative name, "flower children".
Hippies often participated in peace movements, including peace marches such as the USA marches on Washington and civil rights marches, and anti-Vietnam War demonstrations including the 1968 Democratic Convention. Yippies represented a highly politically active sub-group.
By 2005 standards, they're prone to hedonism and pacifism. The culture has also rapidly embraced postfeminist and mostly postmodern "principles" in wake of the twenty-first century.
Though hippies embodied a counterculture movement, early hippies were not particularly tolerant of homosexuality. Acceptance of homosexuality grew with the culture and by today's standards such "issues" are non-existent.
Hippie political expression also took the form of "dropping out" of society to implement the changes they sought. The back to the land movement, cooperative business enterprises, alternative energy, free press movement, and organic farming embraced by hippies were all political in nature at their start.
When the modern the hippy is concerned with politics, they mostly uphold a liberal or libertarian stance.
Driven by the appeal of the Sixties "drug guru", Harvard professor Timothy Leary, who advocated hallucinogenic drugs as a form of mind expansion, many hippies participated in recreational drug use, particularly marijuana (see cannabis, cannabis (drug), and hashish) and hallucinogens such as LSD (see both psychedelic and psychedelic drug) and psilocybin (see Psychedelic mushroom). Some hippies prize marijuana for its iconoclastic, illicit nature, as well as for its psychopharmaceutical effects. Although some hippies did not use drugs, drug use is a trait often ascribed to hippies. Some hippies used drugs to express their disaffection with societial norms.
Drugs were, and still are, controversially considered a central theme in hippy culture.
By the 1970s, much of the hippie style, but little of its substance, had passed into mainstream culture. The media lost interest in the subculture, as it went out of fashion with younger people and even became the target of their ridicule with the advent of punk rock. However, many hippies made, and continue to maintain, long-term commitments to the lifestyle. As of 2005, hippies are found in bohemian enclaves around the world or as wanderers following the bands they love. Since the early 1970s, many rendezvous annually at Rainbow Gatherings. Others gather at meetings and festivals, such as the Peace Fest.
In the United Kingdom the New age travellers movement revived many hippie traditions into the 1980s and 1990s.
- Longer hair and fuller beards than current fashion. Many white people with curly or natty hair associated with the 1960s counterculture and civil rights movement wore their hair in afros in earnest imitation of African Americans. Some people find the longer hair offensive. They believe it is unhygienic, frivolous, or feminine; or offensive because it violates traditional cultural expectations. (When Hair moved from off-Broadway to a large Broadway theater in 1968, the hippie counterculture was already diversifying and fleeing traditional urban settings.)
- Bright-colored clothing, and unusual styles, such as bell-bottom pants, tie-dyed garments, dashikis, peasant blouses, and non-Western inspired clothing. Much of their clothing was self-made in protest of Western consumer culture. Head scarves and long beaded necklaces, for both men and women, were also fashionable.
- Listening to certain styles of music; psychedelic rock such as Jimi Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane, blues such as Janis Joplin, traditional Eastern music, particularly from India, or rock music with eastern influences, soulful funk like Sly & The Family Stone, and jam bands like the Grateful Dead.
- Performing music casually, often with guitars, in friends' homes, or for free at outdoor fairs such as San Francisco's legendary "Human Be-In" of January 1967, the Woodstock Festival of August 15, 16, 17, 1969, or contemporary gatherings like Burning Man festival.
- The VW Bus is usually known as the counterculture/hippie symbol; a peace symbol is usually painted where the VW logo would otherwise be seen. Because of its low cost (during the late sixties), it was revered as a utilitarian vehicle. A majority of buses were usually repainted with graphics and/or custom paint jobs - this was the predecessor of the modern-day art car. Although not as common they did also use the Chevrolet Corvair cars and vans.
- Free love (See also: Sexual revolution).
- Communal living
- Use of incense
The term hippie has also been used in a derogatory sense, to describe long-haired unkempt drug users. Among those of the Beat Generation, the flood of youngsters adopting Beatnik sensibilities, appeared to be cheap, mass-produced imitations of the Beatnik artist community. By Beat standards, these newcomers were not "clever" enough to really be "hip". On the other hand, conservatives used the term hippie as an insult toward young adults whom had a leftist, liberal, and other progressive outlooks on life. Bands members like the Beatles defied and baffled adults in adopting long, shaggy hair. Such showmanship of apathy to appearance is but one aspect hippies encompass in defiance of preconceived adult establishments.
Today, the term hippie is often used by more conservative or mainstream people with the pejorative connotation of irresponsibility and participation in recreational drug use.
A modern pop culture example of the word hippie as an insult is its use by the cartoon character Eric Cartman in the South Park series (see the "Die Hippie, Die" episode, excerpts from which can be viewed here).
Art car seen in Northern California (owned by a hippy)
"Neo-hippies" or simply "hippy" is a name given to turn of the 21st century youths who still believe in the hippie philosophy from back in the day. Dreadlocks — especially with beads sewn into them — remain popular amongst neo-hippies.
Much like their 1960s counterparts, the peace, and justice, and environmental responsibility themes continue. Especially with antiwar demonstrations in the wake of the Gulf War II, and repealing Patriot Acts I and II.
The art car has replaced the VW Bus since these are sought-after by collectors. A few hippie-era buses remain. Also, a knack for environmentally-friendly technology like hybrid vehicles have also gained massive acceptance and promotion. Car-free lifestyles that rely on bicycles, public transit and walking are also gaining popularity among neo-hippies as the ecological impact of driving, coupled with the true personal and social cost of owning a car, become more widely understood.
Vegetarianism, Veganism, and beliefs in animal rights are also evident, and may grow out of a common perception of responsibility for preserving the natural environment in the interest of both personal and communal well-being. See also Environmentalism.
Drug usage is just as prevalent as existed in the "original" hippie days.
- The Sixties
- Abbie Hoffman
- Allen Ginsberg
- Ann Nocenti
- Art Cars
- Baba Ram Dass
- Jefferson Airplane
- Chet Helms
- Consciousness Revolution
- Dana Beal
- Diggers (theater)
- Easy Rider
- Fourth Great Awakening
- Gram Parsons
- Grateful Dead
- Happening Happy Hippy Party
- Henry David Thoreau
- High Times
- Hippie trail
- Holly Near
- How I Won the War
- International Times
- Janis Joplin
- Jesus Movement
- Jimi Hendrix
- Joan Baez
- Ken Kesey
- List of jam bands
- List of psychedelic music artists
- Montrose (district in Houston, Texas)
- Merry Pranksters
- OZ magazine
- Patrick Kroupa
- psytrance/goa trance
- Red Victorian
- R. Crumb
- San Francisco Oracle
- Steal This Book
- Summer of Love in San Francisco.
- Timothy Leary
- Underground comics
- Westheimer Street Festival (former bohemian-themed gathering in Houston, Texas)
- Wavy Gravy
- Zabriskie Point
European countercultures after WW2
- Harold Hill: A People's History - Seize the Time
- Illustrated History of The Hippies
- Psychedelic 60s: Table of Contents
- The Hippie Movement, an example of present day hippies
- hippiePersonals: A peacenik progressive portal for good green people to mingle with other like-minded intelligent folks.
- The Hippie Museum
- Trey Parker's critique of hippies in the Die Hippie, Die episode of South Park can be viewed here
- Hippy Gourmet TV Show: A weekly, national PBS cooking series that features peace, love and good eats
- The Hip Forums, online Free Speach / Hippy forums
- UK Hippy - UK-focused hippy forum and portal
- Dr. Kent, Stephen A. From slogans to mantras: social protest and religious conversion in the late Vietnam war era Syracuse University press ISBN 0-8156-2923-0 (2001)
- CJ Fishlegacy.com
- Jeff Tamarkincs:Hippies
Search Term: "Hippie"
Categories: Social groups | Stereotypes | Subcultures | 1960s