Yeah, hippie. Go back to Woodstock if you don't want to shoot anything.
July 31, 2008 1:18 PM   Subscribe

Why do people hate hippies so much?

On the internet and in real life there seems to be an overwhelming anti-hippie sentiment among all types of people, and I'm curious why that is. The word itself seems to be used almost solely as a pejorative nowadays, and people feel very strongly about it. Although I don't generally hang out with them, in my experience hippies are some of the nicest people you could hope to meet. Granted I live in Asheville which has a lot of pro-hippie/anti-hippie agitation going on, but I see and hear this practically everywhere I go. I'm seeing the same sort of widespread (to me, inexplicable) generalized aggression at "emo" subculture now too, with lots of suggestions that they should all kill themselves and kids getting beat up, as far as I can tell just because they dye their hair black. Is there something specific about these groups that gets them so much flak, or am I confirmation biasing this out of proportion?
posted by Who_Am_I to Society & Culture (70 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
You are confirmation biasing this out of proportion.
posted by nitsuj at 1:21 PM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


P.S. "love hippies" has way more Google results.
posted by nitsuj at 1:22 PM on July 31, 2008


I have known and been good friends with some hippies...and I think a lot of the anti-hippie sentiment is facetious. That said, some are VERY dirty and smelly. Not all, but many. Also they are not the kind of person you want to rely on at work as normally they're pot smoking. Think "Gutter" from the movie PCU...he was charged with getting the beer but he got stoned and forgot.

I think those who are more "goal oriented" dislike hippies for not conforming to their efficient methods of doing things...but I really don't think there's a ton of hippie hatred. Plus most people seem to outgrow their hippie nature by their 30s
posted by arniec at 1:23 PM on July 31, 2008


I've generally understood the hatred to come from the fact that they "won't shut up." Which is generally true of most activists of any stripe.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 1:25 PM on July 31, 2008


two things about hippies:

1) "hippy" is kind of an antiquated term for "liberal," so naturally the Rush-listening crowd isn't going to like them much.

2) Cartman used to go on about hating hippies back when South Park was really big, so a lot of people are quoting him, tongue-in-cheek or otherwise.


The emo thing is a little different. With kids doing it to other kids, it's just a matter of the age-old picking on boys who act effeminate and/or express their emotions openly.

But every time I hear grown people talking shit about "emo" I cringe. This is adults making fun of teenagers for trying to express themselves. They wouldn't dare make those kind of comments about a race or nationality, but with emo they can get away with it because a fairly large group of people have decided emo kids somehow "deserve" it. They are unfunny cowards taking potshots at an easy target.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:28 PM on July 31, 2008 [9 favorites]


True hippies are, visibly, living their lives in a radically different way than what's expected. People tend to view the status quo as normal and moral-- witness people's frantic scrambling to justify segregation, laws against interracial or gay marriage. So they get mad. And some hippies, at least enough who received some attention, intensified it by not merely living their lives in a different way, but calling out normal people.

Plus, hippiedom became a style that people could adopt. That irritates people too.
posted by ibmcginty at 1:28 PM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've lived next door to some hippies who were pretty awesome people, and now I live in a city that has its fair share of hippies. The hippies in this city seem to be some of the most narrow minded judgmental people I've ever encountered (see The Light Fantastic's comment), but to be honest after a few encounters with people of that ilk I pretty much decided to blow them all off and so now my ideas of them are poorly founded and biased.
posted by Science! at 1:30 PM on July 31, 2008


I think a lot of the anti-hippie sentiment is facetious

I would confirm this. I grew up in the 60s, when it was not uncommon to hear sincere "dirty stinking hippie!" remarks. I have seen it evolve into an ironic comment that mocks those who used it seriously.

One a side note: "stinking hippie!" in the 60s was often literally true. The hippie movement, although it had some positive impact, also produced a lot of homeless drug addicts and prostitutes.

Today, people we often think of as "hippies" are probably just people with high ideals of peace, love, community, nature, etc., not necessarily people who have actually "dropped out" of society.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 1:31 PM on July 31, 2008


(the above was addressing the more cosmopolitan type of emo-bashing you'll hear from people being "funny" online or by hack comedians- basically the "people who should no better" category.

I suppose there's a whole other subset of adults who hate emo for the same reason kids do- homophobia and/or cro-magnon dislike for any male showing his emotions.)

posted by drjimmy11 at 1:32 PM on July 31, 2008


also: The Dave Matthews Band.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:33 PM on July 31, 2008


A friend told me once that people hate what they fear, and fear what they don't understand. So, to the extent that any subculture is different from what is deemed 'normal' it's hated and feared. In place of 'hippies' put gays, bikers vs drivers, macs vs pc's, repubs vs democrats.

At least 90% of the strife you see is basically 'us vs them' type biology at work. It's hardwired into the DNA.

Hippie has become such a perjorative term, it's used almost universally as an alias for dirty, stealing scumbag...unless you actually are or were a hippie in which case it tends to mean someone who lives an alternative lifestyle, is basically peace loving and so forth.

Hippie as a term was invented by the media. As such, it's a noun without a defending community so it gets bent to whatever winds the language blows. Hippie has become the mirror held up to society to portray what one fears most in oneself: indigence, poverty of spirit, moral corruption.

My two cents worth...your mileage may vary.
posted by diode at 1:36 PM on July 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think a lot of the anti-hippie sentiment is facetious

At least among my set, this is entirely true. It's a reference both to the stereotypical "square" attitude from the 60's and 70's, as well as Cartman from South Park.
posted by muddgirl at 1:37 PM on July 31, 2008


There's a lot more to emo than black hair. You've got myspace, tight jeans, androgyny, the hairdos, angsty and dramatic poetry and music, and just the pervasive popularity of the fad itself. These all seem to make a lot of people irrationality angry. I think that's common for most teenage fads, but the level of snark against emo is so much higher because you've got the internet to feed the flames.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 1:37 PM on July 31, 2008


Should have previewed. I agree with muddgirl. "Damn hippies!" is as popular a sentiment among the people I know as rants about communists/lefties/reds, etc - it's all very tongue-in-cheek.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 1:39 PM on July 31, 2008


Two things:

Hippies have no taste; and

What better way to give a word power than to deny it appies to you? Many hippies don't consider themselves hippies.

As for the comparison to emo, I don't buy it. Emo is just the current subculture for underdogs; I have no idea what attracts people to hippiedom outside of my own biases and assumptions.
posted by rhizome at 1:40 PM on July 31, 2008


I've spent a lot of time with hippies. I was raised by some, lived in communes here and there, and to this day retain contact with quite a few people who are tiedyed-in-the-wool old school Summer of Love hippies. While hardly universal, I've noticed a few commonalities across a couple of generations of hippie that crop up more often than they seem to in non-hippie populations:

A number of the O.G. 1965 hippie dudes I have run into are manipulative assholes, for one thing, and use a lot of mellow hippie talk to basically paper over the fact that they're dicks, and they're kind of smarmy and superior about it. I've run into manipulative assholes in the general population, but not at the same per capita rate I've seen among Summer-ers.

A fair chunk of the younger hippie guys I've come across are major mooches, and while that's not really looked on with heaps of disfavor in hippie circles, it's perceived with some derision among the square population.

Roughly a full quarter of the hippie chicks I've ever met are to varying degrees Drama Generators (everything's a crisis, the world is always crashing down around them, if a thing happens it has emotional content of some kind). I know people in the straight world like this, so it's not a exclusively a hippie thing, but there seems to be a fair amount of it in the hippie world.

A decent chunk of the hippies I know are just downright happy people. They sometimes live their lives differently than the mainstream, but they're happy doing what they do.

Any of the above could be and likely is perceived negatively by squares, and if commonalities are seen to exist, stereotypes and broad brush generalizations usually follow.
posted by majick at 1:41 PM on July 31, 2008 [11 favorites]


-- opting out of capitalism and consumerism is probably not going to be popular when lots of modern Americans are obsessed with same.
-- extremists of any sort are often ostracized by mainstream culture.
-- pot use can make people sound dumb.
-- the belief in new agey ideas like the healing power of crystals or whatnot seems whack.
-- Long hair does not always look good on people. (Sometimes, though, yes!)
-- self-awareness, to the point of navel-gazing, is seen as self-indulgent and selfish to folks who are trying to squeek by economically.
-- turns out free love wasn't free after all.
-- general feeling of irresponsible childlike naivete that infused the movement may not sit well especially in current economy.
posted by onlyconnect at 1:44 PM on July 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's a stereotype, of course, combining all the worst perceived traits of the American left, in much the same way that "redneck" is a concentrated dose of conservative stereotypes. When used by generally liberal people (who are the only people I hear bitch about hippies these days), it's a means of distancing yourself from these stereotypes without having to make excuses for your politics. "I may vote Democrat, but I'll eat the hell out of this steak" and whatnot. "Hippie" means young, healthy people sitting on Pearl Street in Boulder, CO, judging you for having a job while asking for a handout and playing "Plush" on an acoustic guitar (I don't know why "Plush" is a hippie song, but it is).

Patton Oswalt is a noted hippie-hater. See also his (hilarious) take on loving NPR but hating the music for the same distancing/confirming behavior.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:48 PM on July 31, 2008


I hate hippies because I got tired of self-righteous bullshit from trust fund kids who will steal your stuff when your back is turned.
Really.

Then I married one.

And I still hate hippies.
I love people who stand for everything hippies claim to stand for, but 99% of the self-identifying hippies I have met do it as a fashion statement or because they like the drug scene.

It's quite likely that there is so much sentiment against "hippies" because they are easily identified and they ostensibly stand for something. Either you disagree with their stand and, thus, hate them. Or you agree with the stand and just hate the smell of patchouli.

I'd like to say it is just the modern-day trustafarian hippies that I hate and that the old school lifers were different, but then I spent some time in Taos. Oi! Give me a crusty punk who wants to mug me with an icepick anyday.
Oh yeah, I hate rednecks too, and loggers, and sports, and preps, and art-fags, band geeks and...
I gotta move to the mountains so I can use the hate to keep me warm.
Given all that jibberish, I might hate "hippies" but I give every hippy the benefit of the doubt when I first meet them. Rednecks ain't so lucky. Unless they are part of my wife's family.
posted by Seamus at 1:52 PM on July 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think a lot of conservatives, sadly including people who weren't even born then, are still stuck in 1968. "Hippie" is a term that indicates everything bad, everything they oppose, every loss they've suffered.

If it weren't for those damn Hippies we would have won Vietnam! If it weren't for those damn hippies the faggots would never have come out of the closet! If it weren't for those damn hippies all the negroes would still know their place!

Things changed, rather dramatically, in the 1960's and for the most part conservatives lost every battle they fought. Look, for an example at this picture of the Beatles in an early TV appearance in the US. Notice how, to modern eyes, they look amazingly conservative, they're wearing actual *SUITS* to play rock music for crying out loud. Now realize that the Beatles were seriously criticized for having long hair. Did you see long hair in that picture [1]? People in 1964 did, and were outraged.

Its hard, for people today, to realize (or to remember if they lived through it) just how much more liberal our modern society is when compared to the 1950's-1960's. And hippies became the symbol of that change to liberality, and thus became intensely hated by those who didn't like the move to liberality. It should be noted that back in the 1960's being a hippie wasn't just a fashion statement, in many areas it was taking your health into your hands. Or, rather, into the hands of the conservatives (including police officers) who often physically assaulted, and sometimes murdered, hippies.

And, of course, a hatred as deep and widespread will get cultural momentum regardless of its origins.

[1] Some of the Beatles have hair long enough to touch the collars of their shirts, also the bangs. Basically, in 1964, if it wasn't a buzz cut it was "long hair".
posted by sotonohito at 1:57 PM on July 31, 2008 [8 favorites]


what gets me are the pretend Hippies. the ones who go back to the rich suburb they are from every weekend. and just talk about bring a hippie, but don't live their life the same way they talk.
posted by Amby72 at 2:04 PM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm basically a hippy at heart, but you'd never know it. I hate hippies because if you can be identified as one on sight, that means you have bought into the side of hippydom that is simply fashion. I think this is a big part of the emo-hate as well -- people who like to proclaim "Who They Really Are Inside" with e.g. a choice of shirt or haircut that's just like all the other people they want to be like are generally tools.*

I know a number of people who are also hippies but you wouldn't necessarily know it to look at them. They're great people. It's not hippies, it's scenesters of any sort. Pick a scene, and there will be a strong anti-scene backlash.

------

* In some sense this describes everyone, I know. But there are degrees. Seriously.
posted by rusty at 2:04 PM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's not just confirmation bias -- that's a last-order explanation. If you want a generic explanation, maybe it's because terms like this rarely get perpetuated by the group members themselves, so they tend to be employed critically?

As to the particulars, my sense is that contemporary hippies are now identified as standing for NOTHING, so that it's merely a style of personal presentation -- low-cost signaling, if you will. So it seems contrived.

Ditto for emo folk. I do not in any way endorse saying hateful things about them, let alone beating them up. But I do regarding them as poseurs, solely insofar as they make an effort to appear emo.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 2:09 PM on July 31, 2008


I may sound completely uncool after this story, but this is the internet. Who cares.

I've spent a lot of time in hippie-attracting areas, some of it by choice and some of it otherwise, and I never really felt any animosity towards them. Until I went to Bonnaroo in 2007.

At some certain density, hippies become *extremely* annoying. I imagine this threshold is lower for those who don't have semi-regular contact with them, but my hippie-annoyance-threshold was finally crossed at Bonnaroo. You see someone wandering around on 'shrooms, it's not a big deal, but when you're trying to watch Wilco and there's a group of people rolling around on a field and asking you where they are, you get annoyed. I'd never had any problem with pot smokers, until they were literally *everywhere* and I couldn't get a breath of relatively hallucinogen-free air. I played lots of hackey-sack in high school, but I know that when you're waiting in line for security to check your bag, thinks might go a little more smoothly for everyone if you can go 3 damn minutes without kicking something into the air and shouting *woohoo* repeatedly.

Not all hippies got on my nerves that weekend, of course. We met a cool couple from... oh that's right, we never found where they were from because some guy on acid puked on their backpack at the start of the Flaming Lips set and ruined all their snacks and most of their cash. Then ran off without apologizing. And peace, love, and understanding didn't stop someone from a) hitting my windshield with a stick on the way out or b) slashing one of my tires, which proceeded to completely blow on a bridge and left us stranded for two hours.

Now I know that Bonnaroo isn't really a "hippie festival" anymore, but to the general public it is. And from my weekend living amongst the free-spirits of the Southeastern United States, I learned that a significant minority of them can't handle the drugs they're taking, have trouble respecting personal space, are seemingly completely uninformed about certain aspects of the world, and, in all honesty, smell. I smelled bad by the end of Bonnaroo. I literally through away some of the clothes I had worn, and I went through a stick of deodorant in three days. And let me tell you, I was positively rose-like compared to some of the people there.

I don't hate hippies now, but I've had a year to recover. In the two months of so after Bonnaroo, I literally, non-ironically, held them in very low regard, before I realized that it was a minority of people who had been problematic.

And I know I sound like a jerk who doesn't know how to have a good time, but I do know how to have a good time. I just know how to moderate my behavior, and not completely lose control of my actions just because *OH MY GOD WIDESPREAD PANIC IS SOOOO AWESOME*. I'm not down on hippie culture or drug culture, but having spent time around a large group of hippies, I can see why people who aren't like me, who don't go to tons of concerts and have wild parties and etc., are so completely dismissive of them.
posted by Benjy at 2:13 PM on July 31, 2008 [4 favorites]


drjimmy11: "But every time I hear grown people talking shit about "emo" I cringe. This is adults making fun of teenagers for trying to express themselves. They wouldn't dare make those kind of comments about a race or nationality, but with emo they can get away with it because a fairly large group of people have decided emo kids somehow "deserve" it. They are unfunny cowards taking potshots at an easy target."

1. Yes, it is adults making fun of teenagers' self-expression. It is adults expressing themselves.

2. It is completely unlike race or nationality, for reasons that have nothing to do with "getting away with it." I daresay that if race or nationality could be elected on a whim, and signaled with makeup, hair style, and musical taste, the entire history of race relations and immigration policy would be different.

3. Potshots at an easy target? Maybe. But I doubt teenagers would have it any other way.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 2:14 PM on July 31, 2008


-- opting out of capitalism and consumerism is probably not going to be popular when lots of modern Americans are obsessed with same.
-- extremists of any sort are often ostracized by mainstream culture.
-- pot use can make people sound dumb.
-- the belief in new agey ideas like the healing power of crystals or whatnot seems whack.
-- Long hair does not always look good on people. (Sometimes, though, yes!)
-- self-awareness, to the point of navel-gazing, is seen as self-indulgent and selfish to folks who are trying to squeek by economically.
-- turns out free love wasn't free after all.
-- general feeling of irresponsible childlike naivete that infused the movement may not sit well especially in current economy.


I'm copying this because it represents my idea of "hippies." Most of the above posts started discussing "hippies", pro or con, without stating who they were talking about. Maybe the OP can provide a definition; but if I'm the only confused one, please ignore me.

I was born in 1948 and lived through the origins of the people who were first called "hippies." I have no hatred for them whatsoever, in fact I think they're sweet. But the various above posts seem all over the place about whom they're criticizing or supporting.

And I got no clue what "emo" is, except that I see it in crossword puzzles so it must be real.
posted by JimN2TAW at 2:14 PM on July 31, 2008


I expect it has more to do with individual people having bad experiences with particular "hippies." After you've run across two or three insufferably holier-than-thou people who clearly don't understand the ideas they're espousing, you tend not to take the group very seriously.
posted by sinfony at 2:20 PM on July 31, 2008


P.S. "love hippies" has way more Google results.

Sure, if you search without quotes, since hippies are associated with love, peace, etc. I would suggest that the following would be slightly less meaningless in measuring peoples' attitudes toward hippies.

"I love hippies": about 14,600
"I hate hippies": about 37,200

(Aside: simply announcing "confirmation bias" does not make it so. While I don't know whether this particular case is confirmation bias or not, it may astonish some people to learn that some things in life really are correlated.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:21 PM on July 31, 2008


I don't hate hippies. I hate trustafarian jam band fans who smoke my pot, steal my stuff, try to sell me Valium, and then bitch and moan when I want to listen to good music like The Clash and Wire instead of bad music like Widespread Panic and Phish.

It's not the drugs that rot your brain, people, it's the jam bands.

I'm all for alternative lifestyles, freedom of expression, and rejecting the status quo. What I'm NOT for is using that as an excuse for irresponsibility, disengaging from reality, and five-minute long guitar solos.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:26 PM on July 31, 2008 [9 favorites]


I think a lot of the anti-hippie sentiment is facetious

At least among my set, this is entirely true. It's a reference both to the stereotypical "square" attitude from the 60's and 70's, as well as Cartman from South Park.


Yes. It's said more by friends of mine who are fairly hippie-ish themselves. Sometimes in a fake Nixon voice. ("Of course we all recycle and compost, but you also compost at work? You stinking hippie.")
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:26 PM on July 31, 2008


In the UK there's an interesting sub-group of hippies colloquially referred to as "trustafarians". These are people who live and act like hippies, usually go travelling, but conversely have huge trust funds and general privilege in their lives. Of course, this is a sweeping generalisation, but I'm guessing they're the kids who parents weren't hippies in the 60s.
posted by hnnrs at 2:27 PM on July 31, 2008


I consider myself a hippie, though I don't wear hemp, dreads, or patchouli. It's really far to broad a category to sensibly hate.

People hate "goths" and "emos" and "rednecks" and "preppies" too. None of these really exist, per se.

I figure the root of all that is they hate being categorized, themselves, so they lash out at people who seem comfortable in a category, and then expound on why that category is teh dumbest.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:33 PM on July 31, 2008


So, I'm at an anti-Iraq war rally with a few thousand other people. Although I'm fairly close to the stage, I can't make out what the speakers are saying because a few dozen hippies are really in a groove in their drum circle. Also, we're trying to prevent 500 pound bombs falling from the sky and turning people into hamburger so maybe you should leave your fucking puppets at home!
posted by spork at 2:36 PM on July 31, 2008 [4 favorites]


It's because they're jealous of the vibe, man.

No, seriously, it's mostly confirmation bias. Pick any recognizable subculture you can think of -- punks or bikers, hippies or yuppies, rednecks or bluebloods, math geeks or sorority greeks, and you'll be able to find just as many examples of people from some other subculture claiming to hate them.

The key word, of course, being "them". As opposed to "us". Which is the only way anybody hates anyone they don't know personally.
posted by ook at 2:40 PM on July 31, 2008


+1 Benjy. He covered the bases I would have, better than I would have.
posted by adamrice at 2:40 PM on July 31, 2008


They're also ruining Ween shows.
posted by spork at 2:42 PM on July 31, 2008 [4 favorites]


Because I once tossed a pop can in the trash next to me and a hippie coworker picked it out of the trash, shoved it in my face and proceeded to lecture me about how "the earth is dying and you're killing it". Self-righteousness. But that might just be university trustafarianism.
posted by sian at 2:58 PM on July 31, 2008


Two reasons...

1) In the 90s, I worked at a restaurant that was near a major outdoor ampitheater. Every year, the Grateful Dead would show up, and so would the Deadheads. Hated 'em.

I think it was because of their willful ignorance of typical mainstream culture. The ones I had met weren't "dropping out" of the culture they had learned about and chosen to reject. The ones I had met honestly didn't even seem aware of mainstream culture in the first place, and just seemed puzzled by it all, and were slightly disdainful of everyone because of it. In their own way, they were every bit of elitist and willfully, cheerfully ignorant as an upper class yahoo. It was as if in their unique brand of hermetically sealed reality, they had created a whole new breed of ignorant snobbery without even knowing it.

2) Hippies are useless. Most are neither artists nor workers. They espouse mere hedonism, only without the conspicuous consumption.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:05 PM on July 31, 2008


So, umm, I guess it's not all facetious?
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 3:11 PM on July 31, 2008


Lol, I happened to be reading this thread. I assume this is meant for us? Unless there's something about Mac hard drives that I don't know.

Anyway, thanks everyone for the input so far. A few people mentioned not knowing exactly what my definition of "hippies" is, but I don't think that really matters. I have my own opinions, but I want to know what other people are thinking when they use the term, however they are applying it.

It seems like a lot of people have had experiences with assholes who were hippies, and extrapolated out that hippies are assholes. I think sinfony is on to something, although majick's experience is informative too.

And maybe someone can provide a counter examle, but:
"I hate rednecks": 4,640 hits
"I hate geeks": 1,170 hits
"I hate bikers": 1,100 hits
"I hate yuppies": 1,520 results
"I hate goths": 3,340 hits
"I hate emos": 38,100 hits
"I hate hippies": 74,700 hits!
posted by Who_Am_I at 3:22 PM on July 31, 2008


2nding spork. I almost posted that, myself. The theory in my milieu is that Ween went all adult contemporary on La Cucharacha to scare them off.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:38 PM on July 31, 2008


True hippies are, visibly, living their lives in a radically different way than what's expected. People tend to view the status quo as normal and moral-- witness people's frantic scrambling to justify segregation, laws against interracial or gay marriage..

Exactly. Or to put it shorter, non-weird people do NOT like weird people.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:39 PM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


I interviewed Dean Ween once, and brought up the topic of hippies at Ween shows. A musician on mocking and not mocking hippies:

"Yeah, we sure are [attracting hippies], huh? It's cool. If they dig it, they dig it. We openly kind of mock that scene. I don't really give a shit, though ... We come from a jam mentality. We don't have rehearsals. We jam for five hours -- probably not unlike fucking Phish or moe. or anybody like that. Except with us, that's not where it's at: With Ween, we write songs. ... I think some of these bands will jam on fucking anything for three hours. You've got to have peaks and valleys and dynamics for it to be good. You can't just play for hours and hours and hours. I guess there's a crowd for that, and they want to drop acid and do the hippie dance. And that's cool, and they know where to get it, which is not at a Ween show.
posted by Bookhouse at 3:44 PM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


198 results for "i hate hippies"
301 results for "i hate emos"
128 results for "i hate goths"
24 results for "i hate yuppies"

73 results for "i love hippies"
14 results for "i love emos"
30 results for "i love goths"
25 results for "i love yuppies"

No results were found for: "i love cuil"
posted by public at 4:05 PM on July 31, 2008


Honestly? I say this not entirely jokingly: Cartman.
posted by WCityMike at 4:39 PM on July 31, 2008


The smell of patchouli, the sight of tie dye, and the sounds of the String Cheese Incident send me into a blind rage.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:56 PM on July 31, 2008


Co-intel-pro. the government worked a program to discredit Youth Culture anti war movement, with the same organ that sold the recent war.
posted by hortense at 5:21 PM on July 31, 2008


These Californians seem to use pot as a form of currency. The article intrigued me, but (a) if you know anything about the legal climate of Bush's America (Guantanamo, anyone?) the behavior of the pot-growers seems oblivious; (b) modern society would be unsustainable if everyone did this. Someone's got to focus on the rest of life.

Since the hippies in the article presumably buy and use products and services produced by the non-stoned, rather than living entirely off the land and (e.g.) weaving their own clothes, they are indeed parasitic. One also wonders about their children, who face a problem as great as that of young Amish: breaking out of the stoner version of Amish society, a subculture in which everyone they know is involved in growing and distributing marijuana.

Some do believe that modern society is indeed unsustainable and should be abandoned, but someone's got to focus on the best methods for such a transition. Otherwise, the "head for the hills and turn on" scenario would entail apocalyptic suffering for society at large, which you can't self-medicate away.
posted by bad grammar at 5:26 PM on July 31, 2008


May Brussell explains Operation Chaos
posted by hortense at 5:30 PM on July 31, 2008


Paul Fussell in his book Class suggested that in many cases it was, is envy, mostly of freedom and style.

Among the workers of the world, they can be perceived as Sturdy Beggars, the resentment of whom goes way back. Less a problem with the Ben and Jerrys of this world, who made good, but among the street people of, say Berkeley, it can be annoying to be panhandled by people who appear not to have gotten past the Summer of Love.

Or, more succinctly- "They got a name for that, Jules. It's called a bum."
posted by IndigoJones at 5:33 PM on July 31, 2008


Some people consider anyone who looks vaguely countercultural to be a 'hippie.' Including punks or metal people, who often hate hippies themselves. Myself, when I use 'hippie' as a pejorative, I'm usually referring to the hopelessly naive, spoiled, good-vibes-will-solve-the-worlds-problems types, but they aren't neccessarily hippies in the classic definition, either.
posted by jonmc at 5:52 PM on July 31, 2008


True hippies are, visibly, living their lives in a radically different way than what's expected. People tend to view the status quo as normal and moral-- witness people's frantic scrambling to justify segregation, laws against interracial or gay marriage..

Exactly. Or to put it shorter, non-weird people do NOT like weird people.


Oh, I dunno about that. I'm quite 'normal' and I love to be around truly free thinkers. Trouble is, if someone is self-identifying as a "hippie" they've already bought into a certain identity package that makes them conformists of another stripe. As much as they'd like to think the disdain is because they're such a threat to 'the system' it could just as well be irritation with a group that's about as threatening as a Misfits shirt from Hot Topic.

There could be a certain amount of resentment as well, from those who share the same values but realize that enacting change in the world is generally not accomplished by blowing your trust fund on weed and noodling on your bongos.
posted by mattholomew at 5:55 PM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


When I disparage hippies it's because they talk a lot of feel-good stuff but they don't do anything to make the world better. To me, hippies represent escapism, fear of failure, upper-middle-class guilt, and conflict avoidance.

I agree with what Spork said ("we're trying to prevent 500 pound bombs falling from the sky and turning people into hamburger so maybe you should leave your fucking puppets at home!"), Cool Papa Bell's second point ("Hippies are useless. Most are neither artists nor workers. They espouse mere hedonism, only without the conspicuous consumption."), and mattholomew's last sentence ("There could be a certain amount of resentment...from those who share the same values but realize that enacting change in the world is generally not accomplished by blowing your trust fund on weed and noodling on your bongos.")

My dislike is fueled not by lack of understanding nor propaganda. I spent five months in 1998 touring Colorado, Utah, and California in a Volkswagen bus while listening to the Bob Marley box set on repeat (oh, a little Manu Chao too). I worked maybe three weeks total that summer at a burrito stand in Telluride, in exchange for getting to crash in someone's basement. Also, then I spent the summer of 1999 at an ecovillage where I bathed using soap in a real shower no more than three times. People mostly just swam naked in the stream to rinse off. (Actually, I don't consider that crowd "hippies" since they'd collectively financed a 300-acre piece of land and were hard at work building things to make their vision a reality.) It's fine if you're 19, but not much beyond that point.
posted by salvia at 6:49 PM on July 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


I meant to add: I feel the same way about hippies as I do about ski bums. Ski bums tend to work more and be in better shape, but hippies tend to be better at hacky-sack, folk crafts, guitar, and massage, so it comes out about equal.
posted by salvia at 6:52 PM on July 31, 2008


They are often naive, hypocritical, sometimes smelly, and have absurd political views.

That being said, some of my friends are hippies of the good variety, and I greatly enjoy hanging out with them.
posted by Autarky at 7:19 PM on July 31, 2008


Hippy is a term left back in the 70's..maybe the 80's at a push. Anyone who calls themselves a hippy past that is aspiring to an outdated label. I recycle as does most of the thousands in my city. Twent years ago we would have been hippies. People I met in the 90s who were 'travellers' consistently talked about drugs and how they had ripped off copper from people's houses. They all struck me as trustafarian's on a long camping holiday.
posted by Frasermoo at 8:12 PM on July 31, 2008


** sorry, in answer to the question, I don't hate hippies. Hippes in the 60's sense of the word helped open our eyes to some real world issues. Hippies are history.
posted by Frasermoo at 8:15 PM on July 31, 2008


I always assume it's because they are easy to pick out of a crowd, so if they are annoying you and they seem to fit the hippie mold people are okay with saying "fucking hippies" in a way that they would NOT feel okay saying "fucking [racial epithet]" because its a lifestyle choice not a religion or race. I sort of feel like it's like the way people look at fundamentalist Christian types getting in people's faces about abortion and gay marriage [omg!] and say "Man those pesky Christians!" and miss the ones who are just quietly doing good works and being good people because they're not waving their BIG FLAG about how they self-identify.

I went to Hampshire College which was, and is, full of hippies. To look at the students there, it was easy to make generalizations about hippie types. I also used to go to Dead shows. I had dreadlocks. I drove across the country in a VW bus. I am lax about personal hygeine and don't wear makeup. I try to pay as little rent as humanly possible. I think pot should be legalized. I sleep in my car on occasion. I don't wear shoes outside a lot. I'm often wearing Birkenstocks. I don't shave my armpits. I can see my patchouli from here, and my hemp necklace, and my incense. I bought Nag Champa TODAY. My boyfriend has long lovely hair which he often wears in a bandana. We drive messy beater cars. My uncle was an OG Hippie from San Francisco, blah blah.

However, people don't think of me as a hippie (usually) because I'm polite, I don't throw up in people's backpacks, I know how to dress up/clean up to go nice places, I have a job, I have a sense of what possessions are mine and what belong to other people and I'm not a FLAKE.

It's a tautology. People dislike hippies because hippies are the hippie things they don't like and aren't the hippie things they DO like.

And some guys hate hippie chicks because they won't sleep wth them.

And some people hate hippies because they are simply jealous.
posted by jessamyn at 8:44 PM on July 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


And some guys hate hippie chicks because they won't sleep wth them.

Whoa, where did that come from ;)
posted by Frasermoo at 9:00 PM on July 31, 2008


[Applies to all the hippies I ever met -- and in seven years working full time near the peace movement, I met loads. But only in the UK. YMMV]

Because every last one of them was "rebelling" against their comfortable middle-class upbringing. Because none of them had ever had an actual job. Because once in a while it'd be nice if they could talk about something -- anything -- other than weed.

Because it's all about them.

Because they fuck up any campaign they get involved in by talking endlessly and never actually doing anything, or adding a hundred other issues - each of which alienates another group who might have agreed with your main point -- until you've got something which only appeals to themselves and their useless fucking mates. Because they criticise everything and improve nothing. Because thinking locally, in the real world, usually does absolutely bloody nothing in the cause of acting globally.

Because of Yes.

Above all, because when I was unable to contain my hysterical laughter at the sight of 30,000 identically-dressed 'alternative' types chanting "There's only one way of life and that's your own" in perfect unison while the Levellers were on stage, like some bizarre soap-dodging version of Nuremburg, not a single one of them understood why it was funny.
posted by genghis at 9:04 PM on July 31, 2008 [7 favorites]


When I was 19 years old, I had a button among lots of other buttons on my jacket, that said, in Sex-Pistols-ransom-note style, "Never Trust a Hippie". A big chunk of my generation went out of their way to define themselves by pointing out how different they were from the just previous one. We had no stake in any of the cultural stereotypes of the late 60s: we were just starting elementary school then.

For a few people, there might be some of that rebellion or resentment lingering on. I'm much less adamant about it myself--I sort of enjoy watching documentaries about the era nowadays.
posted by gimonca at 9:08 PM on July 31, 2008


I was protesting at Bangor International Airport when George Bush was making his whistle stop there in 2004, and i really don't know what pissed me off more-- the rednecks yelling 'TRAITORS' at us, or the geezy old hippies with the beads and the tom-tom on wheels. I'm a punk and all, but you can at least TRY to look like you know what you're talking about.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:20 PM on July 31, 2008


In the year 2008, there are no such people as hippies. There just isn't. There are people as described above, but they are not hippies.
posted by wv kay in ga at 10:35 PM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Because it's easy to identify and then prejudice against people who all dress the same way.

Because a lot of hippies cross the line from "let me live the way I want to" into "everyone should follow MY rules". That subgroup of hippies want to use the benefits of society without contributing back to it. That's wrong.
posted by gjc at 8:14 AM on August 1, 2008


I asked a friend of mine this question recently, and he said that hippies are the last group that it is okay for white men to hate.
posted by frecklefaerie at 8:48 AM on August 1, 2008


Strong sense of entitlement, poor work ethic combined with authoritarian leanings?
posted by electroboy at 2:55 PM on August 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also went to Hampshire College like jessamyn. In fact, that was the first thing I think of when I think of hippies; which is funny because I was raised by parents who grew organic crops on a 100 acre farm out in the middle of nowhere and espouse semi-radical counter-cultural ideas. My dad was a C.O. during Vietnam, and both my parents went into the Peace Corps and spent two years in Guatemala. Fucking hippies. Of course, my mom was also in the Navy, so that complicates things...

But the first thing I thought of is Hampshire. And to echo something else jessamyn said, "It's a tautology. People dislike hippies because hippies are the hippie things they don't like and aren't the hippie things they DO like." Yes, this seems to be exactly it. Someone commented that they didn't really even understand what the definition was, and I think that's the point: hippie has become a catchall for any person with roughly non-mainstream behavior that fits within a relatively broad set of variables. And if you don't like hippies, chances are that there are a set of characteristics that you hate and fall within the range of hippiedom and you can point to a certain sub-set of individuals who match those characteristics and hate on 'em. My parents, for examplem, are not hateful hippies to me, even though they probably fit the bill for many people. The trust-fund schmucks who sat on their asses smoking ridiculous amounts of weed every day and then did a thesis project (Div III for those of you in the know) about beer-brewing or the political application of Bob Marley's rasta ethics or whatever (forgive me beer-brewers and Marley scholars, the point is the half-assed-ness of some of the theses, not the half-assed-ness of the topics themselves...) and every summer chilled out in Patagonia while I was working my ass off and then graduated (in six years) and toured Europe...those are the hippies I hate. To each his own hippie-hate.

Now, I'm not like jessamyn in that I am not really that close to a hippie at all in any stereotypical ways. You'd probably more likely assume I was a (non-racist) skinhead first, honestly. But I understand where she's coming from...
posted by dubitable at 7:37 AM on August 2, 2008


Patchouli
posted by theora55 at 10:49 AM on August 4, 2008


ooops, sorry, Jessamyn.
posted by theora55 at 10:50 AM on August 4, 2008


As a sometime-visitor to Asheville, I'd agree that you're living in an unusually intense pro/anti battleground. :)
posted by kalapierson at 10:14 AM on August 5, 2008


« Older Macbook drive in a PC?   |   Roommate in NYC Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.