The Strategic Retreat

The 4 Pillars Of Hippiedom

gay hippie

It’s no secret that I hate hippies. A lot of people hate hippies so it’s a fairly safe hatred to have, which is nice. I don’t hate hippies because they’re lazy, drug addled, simpletons. I hate hippies because they’re disingenuous, rude and close minded. Hippies like to think that one of the defining characteristics of being a hippie is being open minded. It isn’t.

Hippies use the term “open minded” to convince you that you should be open minded about things that fall into the hippie sliver; the very very small set of things that hippies believe in and are ok with. In Hippie parlance “open minded” is used like the word “share”. They want you to share with them, they want you to be open minded about what they do. They probably won’t share with you (sharing the sounds of the bongos doesn’t count) and they certainly won’t be open minded about anything that falls outside the hippie sliver. There will be plenty of time later to break down types of hippies, better define the hippie sliver and rant about their naivety but first I should define what it is to be a hippie.

Though many people have mistaken me for a hippie in the past I have never been mistaken for a hippie by a hippie. Because of this I believe I can help Normal-norms distinguish between hippies and real people.

There are 4 main characteristics that make up hippies; music, drugs, politics and fashion. Hippies have other common bonds and may swear that one of those characteristics is critical to being a hippie. It isn’t. Just music, drugs, politics and wardrobe.


Guy Playing in the Ganja

Hippies: Not unlike all the people of the world; hippies enjoy music. Hippies mostly like to listen to music made by other hippies. I personally think it’s about the scene and not the tunes (see Bonnaroo) but lets pretend like that’s not true. Hippies like jam bands, new blue grass (that’s played by hippies) and hippie folk music. They like music they can dance around to whilst feeling the grass between their toes and the freedom of their home-made threads twirling in the wind.

Zervas: I’ve been to about a dozen Phish shows and have seen such bands as Widespread Panic, Leftover Salmon, Yonder Mountain and The Big Wu multiple times. I really like blue grass and old-timey music and I love outdoor shows. So if you discount my interest in rap/hip-hop I’m a hippie when it comes to music.



H: Hippies like drugs. A lot. Hippies enjoy weed, acid, opium, ecstasy and psilocybin. Some dabble in other drugs but crack and heroin are generally looked down upon. Weed, opium and shrooms are hardly ever looked down upon. They come from the earth. Man.

Z: I like drugs. A lot. I enjoy weed. I have dabbled in other drugs such as opium and ecstasy but I generally look down on them. I used to take psilocybin about ever year or two in an attempt to “center” myself. Although I’m presently an adult and my life doesn’t center around them I’m clearly a hippie when it comes to drugs.



Pointless Hippie and RFK with CC

H: Hippies think there should be no war and everybody should love each other. They vote for third party candidates that have no hope of winning or, more likely, they don’t vote at all.

Z: I think there should be no war and everybody should love each other. I don’t think it’s going to happen but it’s a nice idea. I voted for Nader, twice. Hell, I was even a campus coordinator in 2004. I majored in poverty (poli sci and philosophy) and believe that more money needs to be put into social services and education. I have hippie ideals but putting thought, planning and reality into my politics lowers me for this category.



paul and ralph

H: Hippies like to wear clothes that look homemade, have patches and are made of hemp. Hippies like band t-shirts, peasant blouses, tie dye, jewelry, headbands and other useless accessories. Hippies like to wear light clothes as it’s always summer in the mind of a hippie.

Z: I like clothes that are comfortable and sharp. I don’t wear ties but I can often be found in khakis and a button up shirt. When I’m not working I tend to wear shorts and plain white t-shirts. I don’t like logos and second to comfort is simplicity. I often wear a beard which does bump me up a few hippie points. I was pretty low in this category until Monday when I received a pair of Thai Fisherman pants from my girlfriend’s sister. They are comfort city. Due to the new pants and the beard I’ll say I’m:


4 pillars of hippiedom

This places me at a solid 44/100 on the hippie scale. Which although fairly high means I’m not a hippie, as 51% is required to break into the Hippie Sphere. Although I’m 70% or above on the first 3 pillars of hippiedom being a hippie is like playing The Feud. You may think you’re rocking it but the last round is the only round that really counts.

If you don’t dress like a hippie, you’re not a hippie. Plain and simple. Emo, Goth, Punk and Hippie. All pretty much the same thing, all are based on fashion. Sure people who don’t want to admit they’re fashionistas will quote Elliot Smith, Anne Rice, Sid Vicious or Ken Kesey but they’re wrong. They may believe that the cause governs the fashion but it’s simply not true. Give it a try some time, you’ll find that a trip to Hot Topic or Goodwill will help you fit into one of the above groups more than any mindset ever could. The fashion is the thing and everything else exists to justify it.

About Jeff

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