Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Hippies Love Indians!

I happened upon this guy's website today, and boy was it a treasure trove of information about what being a hippy is all about. If you are looking at this in a public place, the website has cheesy 80's style videogame music to accompany your browsing, so be forewarned. Anyway, apparently, wherever this guy goes, there he is, (dude, totally rad!) so he made this website in order to try to remember how he ended up in Mississippi. This should be the first indication that you may be wary about what he has to say. Not because he actually doesn't remember how he got to Mississippi, I'm sure that was just a clever way of indicating his totally deep spiritual state so that his fellow enlightened hippy friends could be aware of his depth and complexity. That is totally lame and merely reflects the lack of substance that is sure to follow.

So he has this section that he has titled to sound as if it is some philosophical treatise, I give thee: On Being a Hippie. Such is his self-important opus, meant, quite unapologetically, to educate the masses to the singular greatness of his person. That said, it is actually kind of good. Yeah it's pretty lame and cheesy, but I do believe that his heart is in the right place. Unfortunately, he has fallen hook, line and sinker for the pathological deficiencies of the elitist hippy mindset.

For example, his initial approach to the existential subtleties of "hippiness" is to alienate the "unenlightened", which, in his particular case, are "rednecks". Simply having long hair doesn't qualify one to be a hippy, because, "there are plenty of long-haired rednecks now". He says "now" as if only in recent times have rednecks developed the audacity to wear the preferred coif of the spiritual elite. I wonder if he has ever heard of Lynyrd f-ing Skynyrd? (Perhaps not, see reference above to the music accompanying his homepage.)

Next, he talks about drugs and rebellion not having to do with being a hippy, blah, blah...and then, I told you hippies love to drop their idealized version of Indian ways on you, he hits you with the Native American word "tafuka" which means "way of life". First of all, his blatant misunderstanding of authentic Native American culture is evident in his reference to simply a "Native American" word. This flies in the face of Native American history and, frankly, his ignorance should be offensive to any Native Americans who read what he has written. Hippies have a way of accomplishing the exact opposite of what they meant to do. I guess that's what happens when you try to appear as an Enlightened One when all you've actually done is eaten some mushrooms and laid in a grassy field picking flowers and listening to the Grateful Dead. There were hundreds of Native American tribes that populated the continent, probably thousands if you account for the ten-thousand-plus years they inhabited North America before the arrival of the (evil) white man. The idea that there is a single Native American word that has some ultimate meaning is akin to believing that every hamburger made in America is of the same quality and dressed with the same condiments. It is plainly absurd.

This little mishap reveals a truth that becomes more and more apparent as you read on: this man wishes to God that he was an Indian. But not a real Indian. I'm sure he wouldn't want to engage in one of their brutal intertribal, blood-spilling wars. I'm not ready to believe that old Mr. Lost in Mississippi Hippy would lop another beloved Indian's scalp off of his dying head. Would he protest that his chief was acting unilaterally and therefore had no right to mess with the neighboring bully tribe? No, this guy wants to dress up and play nice Indian. How fitting that he met a half-Cherokee Indian at a Halloween party where he "began a discussion about [his] fascination with Indians." So this guy is there, probably dressed up like a flower or a giant marijuana leaf or something, and this Cherokee guy was like "yeah, you haven't been f-ed up until you've gone into a sweat lodge, dude" or something like that. I don't know a whole lot about sweat lodges, but I knew some guys in college who built them and I think it's like doing drugs without actually having to smoke or eat anything. Anyway, so Mr. Lost Hippy has become even more enlightened due to the guidance of his friend and Mr. Silverwolf the Medicine Man. It is telling that the most important thing he learned from Silverwolf was that it didn't matter that he didn't have Indian blood because he had an Indian soul. Not learning new things, not having major life events explained to him. No, the thing that "changed his life" was this guy telling him he had an Indian soul. That must be like hippie nirvana. I guess by using something so vague as "soul" he can simply act like an Indian, tell people how deep he is because an actual Indian told him he was, and not have to associate with the dark side of Indian history. All is great, everyone is happy, Mr. Lost Hippy achieved his dreams. And, how sweet, he returns the favor by complimenting Indians as "the first hippies". OK, so I now need to add to my definition of hippies that they engage in tribal warfare with other bands of hippies, nomadic or stationary, cut off each other's scalps, and take young girls as their brides without their consent. Sweet dude, sweet.

So Mr. Lost Hippy, since your conclusion to your existential frolicing into the nature of hippiness is that it constitutes, in part, "Respect for others and their rights to be who they are", how about letting historical Indians be who they were. How about cutting "rednecks" some slack. Does you idea of respect only apply to the gifted few who have become so enlightened as to actually be called an "Indian soul" by an ACTUAL INDIAN!!! Your hippyocrisy is so blatant that I second-guessed whether or not I should have even included this last paragraph, but since I hope you read this, please live up to your ideals. I have nothing against you personally but if I'm a redneck you have something against me automatically. Wake up and quit living in CandyLand. Try something new, take the Hippy Challenge....Coming Soon.


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