Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My Hippie Manifesto

If the movement had just been a tad more fashionable, and had encouraged just slightly more bathing on a regular basis, and been friendlier to the concept of make-up (at least on special occasions), I SO would have been a hippie. At the very least, I’m an undeclared, undercover example of one.

I’ve been organic since I was a kid. I’m serious, this is the good thing about having parents from other countries who pretty much believe that eggs are meant to be fresh and they shouldn’t emerge by way of growth hormones, and that preservatives are bad because they weren’t there in the first place, and that if you can make it at home, why not blend your own smoothies or toss your own salads at home? Today, I buy local whenever possible, avoid additives and pesticides, and am looking to find a co-op that is close to home. I clean my home and wash my clothes almost entirely with biodegradable, natural products. Lemon and vinegar are such versatile things. Right now I do 99% of my shopping at
Trader Joe’s or New Seasons markets.

Plus, and this may lose me one of my eight readers, but I really have a thing for astrology, and although it entirely bucks any rational explanation for why on earth it might have a real-life impact, I’m telling you that my chart is spot on. In case you’re wondering, I’m a Libra with an Aries moon, Leo rising, Mercury in Libra, Venus in Scorpio (ouch), and Mars in Leo. If you’re really interested, I’ll tell you about my house placements and outer planets. I think I can feel people’s energies, and I have an aversion to men that even remotely resemble Dick Cheney or Rush Limbaugh (see below), or who feel they have any right to dictate what goes on with a woman’s body.

Additionally, I believe in karma, treating animals (and to the best of my ability other people) with kindness, dignity and respect—which does not mean that I won’t eat them (the animals) at all, I just cut down on my consumption, insist that they’ve lived a decent life where they’ve seen the light of day and been humanely treated up until the very end--
to the tune of paying a whole lot more than most people for my meat, but then feeling pretty confident that it is healthy and untainted.

I saw the Grateful Dead when Jerry was still alive, and was a fan of folk rock before I reached double digits (thank you Donovan and Cat Stevens). I feel renewed at the beach and am committed to saving habitats like the rain forests, wetlands, the forests, and roadless wilderness--not because I "hate progress" but because I feel strongly that a bulldozer does not always define it. I’ve always recycled, never, ever litter, despise Hummers, and believe there is no single alternative energy source that should replace oil, but that the key to future sources lies in diverse sources that adhere to the topography/demography of an area.

I think we should all try much, much harder to do better than our parents and their parents did to steward this earth. I think it's time to look long and hard at what our hero worship of the bottom line and standardized physique has done to our souls. I think we could all use a little more humility and spiritual development (nothing to do with religion and more to do with accessing our inner selves and the rights of others). I don’t really care what floats my neighbor’s boat, but hope that s/he can accept what floats mine. I care that most Americans don’t harbor compassion for others, and envision a way that we can instill community while realizing we’re not all going to join hands and sing a song about Coca-Cola.

In short, I’m a closet hippie who is choosing to finally come out. Call me a liberal, call me a leftie, I’m A-OK with that. I'm not trying to congratulate myself, I'm trying to admit something that has somehow taken on a sadly tainted air in our culture--that of a peace-loving, environmentally conscious, not ferociously ambitious, not "I win-you lose" oriented, I support our troops by not needlessly, arbitrarily putting them in harm's way, kind of person. In short, I’ll take this:

Over this:
(photo of Rush courtesy Vanity Fair's 2007 Green Issue)


** Piece inspired by Mark Morford’s column, The Hippies Were Right!