Nerds certainly take their share of flack but other sub-cultures get theirs too. Ravers, Goths, Hipsters, Emos, Furries and Lawyers are the perennial butt of jokes on the interwebs. But reviled by all these groups are the Hippies.
Just how this came to be is a subject for debate. Often the word “smelly” gets tossed around but a surprisingly large number of people actually don’t mind the smell of patchouli and sandalwood. The actual smell people generally object to is the body odor that the hippie in question is trying to mask with other natural scents. These smelly people are often not so much hippies as hobos and they don’t smell of patchouli, that smell is actually just the smell of dirt and sweat.
Occasionally smelly hippies truly are the result of olfactory additives. These are the types of nuanced individuals who will often take offense to every quip made at a party. They will probably have also brought some woody-tasting vegan delicacy everyone will feign delight over as they attempt to masticate it into an edible form.
If you’re lucky, you will see them breastfeed their child (even if the hippie happens to be a man) and hear them wax poetic about how seeing Michael Franti play live was a spiritual experience. You might even be treated to a rant about the evils of corporations while they try to show you how bad things in Africa are on their iPhone. About this time is when you might identify the offending smell you thought was emanating from them is actually their especially ripe Birkenstocks polluting your entire house all the way from the door.
Of course, you’ll be spared the Birkenstench if your hippie house-guest is actually full-on vegan. But if all your furniture is modern design leather and teak, you’ll be in for an awkward conversation around seating arrangements. Hauling out the only rickety wooden chair you own (kept only for use as a torture device) isn’t always seen as a humorous jest. Though it does give them the opportunity to demonstrate their favourite cross-legged Yoga pose on the floor and joking about how their lentil-and-chickpea diet makes them gaseous.
What makes hippies a hurdle for most people is their high-maintenance ideals. Though the stereotype of the hippie is an easy going, laid-back individual, rarely do you meet a hippie who isn’t uptight, closed-minded and snobbishly militant with a side of smug self-satisfaction. As much as they decry The Man and the fascist police state of suburban North America, if the hippies ever take over, they’ll make Mussolini (it’s not Godwin’s Law if you invoke Mussolini, right?) look like the Buddha with the controls on personal liberty they’d impose from the environmental to the dietary.
Of course, as soon as anyone from any social clique gets on that high a horse, people instantly want to find the hypocrisies and tear them down. Hippies tend to make themselves a target so easy to score a bulls-eye on, they may as well apply them to their foreheads with body-paint while they form a drum-circle and sleep in the same bed as their kids until puberty.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t still harbour dreams of chucking it all and moving to Auroville.
And if you thought I was lying about the Parrot Heads, I wasn’t.
Also, if you were curious about the demon we raised with the chant of “Moxy Früvous“, here he is. Jian Ghomeshi in his natural demon form.
Since we were remiss in plugging this on the episode, it’d be doubly remiss of us if we didn’t take this opportunity to plug the new record by Jakob’s hippie-ass psychedelic music project Moonwood.
$11.25 CAD + Shipping (North America $1o / World $17). Edition of 200 blue vinyl w/download.
Note: For slower “GROUND MAIL” shipping to Europe/Overseas, please use “North America” for correct price.
Subtitled Music For Water Borne Disease, the album’s 10 instrumental tracks wind like a river through far eastern modes and southwestern reverb. Multi-instrumentalist Jakob Rehlinger layers bowed strings, Romanian lap harp and gourd flute over fuzzy psyche-guitar and ethnic percussion, bells and gongs.
Includes free digital download via Moonwood’s Bandcamp site plus an exclusive download of Ghost Aberrations, a 70-minute album of out-takes of rarities from the Coal Aberrations and River Ghosts sessions.
“Earlybird” edition: The first 60 copies include a hand-printed, signed and numbered lino-block print by Jakob.
Ecconomically priced digital version available at Moonwood’s Bandcamp site (does not include Ghost Aberrations album).