Tuesday, September 05, 2006

World: Hippies get real

Whatever happened to hippies?

Judging by this article (first published in the Sydney Morning Herald), they got mainstreamed by their kids.

Now I must qualify this: I'm discussing what I've read about the Australian experience (I was far too young to experience it firsthand). First, they reject the term hippy in favour of "alternative lifestyler". According to them, they were different from American hippies, in that they had a plan for a permanent, low-impact alternative lifestyle - as opposed to simply dropping out. This involved living on the land, living off the land, with few modern conveniences.

But with free love came... children. They adjusted their lifestyle bit by bit. "What you want is not necessarily in the best interests of the children". The kids needed playgroups, schools, ... One couple switched away from vegetarianism because their daughter was "dead skinny and not thriving".

Undoubtedly others kept making a go of it. But by and large it seemed somewhat self-indulgent where children were suffering.

I'm not knocking their ideals at all. But it seems it was very hard to maintain an alternative lifestyle for the whole of the cycle of life.

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