Where HAVE they gone?

Hello surviving Hippie(s)!

Despite Bob Dylan’s Victoria’s Secret ad, I know not all of you have sold out.  So where are you?  What happened?  Did you just go into hiding?  I need you.  Your country needs you.  The world needs you.

I get it, ’68 was a very tough year.  It was your Empire Strikes Back.  But why haven’t we seen the Return of the Jedi?  Is it the fear?  That would be understandable.  I mean, Bobby, Martin Luther King, Kent State…scary stuff, I’ll agree.  But, as you may or may not be aware…you are going to die.  And it isn’t as far off as we’d all like to hope.  It could be tomorrow.  Why weren’t you expecting a backlash when you posed a threat to the people pulling the world’s strings?   When you attempt to wrest power from those who hold it, they are probably not going to respond well.

Or maybe you have abandoned your ideas.  It would make sense, some of them were terrible.  The copious amounts of hard drugs, the communes, the unprotected sex and resulting unplanned pregnancies with anyone and everyone; not your best moments.  But are you going to let your mistakes define you?  On some things, in my opinion…you were either dead-on or pretty damned close.

Let’s go over some of those abandoned ideas…shall we?

How about not getting involved in the civil war of another country?  How is abandoning that idea working out for you now?

Or what about non-violent resistance?  Did giving up on that work out for you?

Or let’s revisit those communes…could you have been just a little off?  We’ve seen that communism doesn’t really work in practice.  But do you know what is working?  Democratic Socialism.  Look to the nations of the North.  They have the highest quality of living.  The highest quality of living.  Yet they are taxed as high as 70%.  That seems awful, right?  It is taking away people’s economic freedom.  Only…not so much.  When all basic necessities are provided for you, 30% of your income is a lot of money to have left over.  Do you have 30% of your paycheck left over after all of your basic bills are paid?  If you are like the vast majority of Americans, don’t bother answering, I already know.

So I ask you, the highest quality of life (and it must be pretty awesome, given the cold) infrastructure, basic necessities met; the right of freedom of speech, the right to vote, (Because remember, it wasn’t No Taxes, it was No Taxation Without Representation as the rally cry for the American Revolution), and more money to spend as you see fit; instead of the economic slavery many of us are currently living under.  Who is more free?  Isn’t that freedom?  See Hippies, you were close.

So quit beating yourselves up.  Heroes have flaws.  There is still time for you.  Do you want to be remembered as the ME generation, or as the US generation?

Your expertise is desperately needed in a few areas.  Missouri could use your help in non-violent techniques.  Actually, large swaths of the country could use that, given the rollback of so many of the rights you fought so hard for.  There is something quite a bit more powerful, and worthy of support when a Hippie puts a daisy in the barrel of a cop or soldier’s gun, then when a cop or cops are ambushed and shot in their patrol car.

The silent majority (Nixon may have been right at the time, but we are that silent majority now…suck on that, Tricky Dick!) can use your help in finding their voice.  They need leaders.  Someone who can mobilize the people who see this horrible shit happening around them and want desperately to do something about it but don’t know how.  Who better than a peace-loving Hippie than to reign in the radicals screwing up every popular movement?  Who better than a Hippie to soothe tensions between the multitude of good, honest police and the people justifiably upset over real acts of brutality?

I personally think President Obama has done a pretty good job, as far as Presidents go.  There are a few exceptions, but nobody is perfect.  Heroes have flaws.  But there is one glaring thing sticking out, and that is the lack of action when it comes to enforcing the 14th Amendment.  If Kennedy and Johnson could activate the Guard against rogue police can’t Barack Obama?  He’s a lame-duck.  It isn’t like he’s going to lose another election.  And how about backing the good police from the radicals that believe all of them deserve to die for attempting to serve?  The police departments in Ferguson have shown their unwillingness or ineptitude in handling it, can’t he, on a Federal Level?  It wouldn’t be unprecedented.

But he won’t.  I guess he doesn’t want to make it tough for whatever Democrat (Will there be one?) who runs in 2016.

And we sure as hell know our Congress won’t do anything about it.

And if you’ve been following anything in Indiana, then you know the states won’t step up.

So it is up to the people.  I wouldn’t even begin to know how to get this off the ground.  Even if I had an idea, I don’t have the physical strength or the ability to be around large crowds to do it.

But you do, Hippies in hiding.  You have the knowledge and the experience…and now a little wisdom to make it happen.  You have the most accepting generation ever born coming up.  You can get them motivated.  You can get them to accomplish the things that should have been accomplished years ago.  You even have people in my generation, the slackers, who are getting off of their butts finally and just waiting for a way they can change the wold for the better.  We need your help.  Teach us to become modern Hippies.



Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

23 thoughts on “Where HAVE they gone?”

  1. I have been wondering the same thing!!! Where are all the activists? I had a glimmer of hope when the Occupy movement started, but that seems to have sputtered out. Back in the 70s people had something to say about everything, now it seems like we just kind of suffer in a veiled silence behind the internet. Maybe we could start with something small, like I don’t know, the cable and the cell phone companies that do as they please, then move on to the bigger things. I agree, the American people have become so complacent and outwardly apathetic. We do need to do something!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your occupy thought brings up exactly why the influence of the old hippies is needed. Occupy had no voice. On purpose. People can’t get behind that. They don’t want to fight for something vague, they need something to believe. They need leaders to help them get organized. I wonder who will step up. Somebody has to.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Never, in practice. Except maybe in some Norwegian countries. In theory, they are all supposed to. In theory. It is your money (well…maybe not yours as a child) that paid for those tulips. So while it may be stealing to that government, I’m not so sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You wonder where are the hippies as if they (we) are some sort of heroes. We were and are still just people no different from you. We care, we are frustrated. Many of us are doing what we always did—talking a step toward improving the world immediately around us. I continue to encourage my now grown children. I relate to my neighbors with an open concern they do not get from other neighbors. I actively encourage my co-workers in their efforts, some political, some not. Most importantly, I have identified my reasonable sphere of influence, that “world” where I can be effective to bring about change. Frustrated by the recent presidential election, I felt a need to expand that sphere by starting a blog (it’s up but not much on it yet). I will probably not take to the street as I did as a young man, but who knows…

    The point is that you are NOT powerless. You must learn to be your own parent. Accept the power you already have and use it. Realize that no one is going to save you. Change begins with you.

    You already have the means to bring Good into the world—your blog. If you need some ideas to expand on what you are already doing (and I encourage you to do so) take a look at Jennifer Hofmann’s blog. Subscribe to her newsletter where she offers weekly ideas for change.

    As an inspiration, investigate Guiseppe Spadafora , the Tea Man. He is probably about your age, an old boyfriend of my daughter. Quite interesting, committed young man doing his part to make the world a bit better, driving around the country, giving away free tea and making connections with people.

    video interview (one of several): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtEdcIE-wVQ

    One of the pillars of Guiseppe’s philosophy is “slow movement” which is (in his words) “the idea that everything has it’s own speed at which it is done best, and that we often focus too much on getting things done fast.”

    There are lots of people out there doing really interesting things. You do not know about it because media sources have chosen not to tell you. (How do you learn about anything? Think about it). Don’t wait to be saved by the old hippies or anyone else. You ARE the cavalry. The old hippies are where we have always been, right here, just like you.

    Be well! Be who you are!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, Josh.
        Many hippies sold out. Yep. Some joined in with there former foes. For sure. That is the glass half empty. Not a particularly useful story to live by, however–nor to ponder for very long. It is time to refill the glass, and that is happening.

        The ground game has changed since the late 60s/early 70s when we were literally “in the streets”. There is much more day to day, gritty, grassroots level work happening now–make it happen, don’t just talk about it stuff. I sent the link to your hippie post to another old hippie, living in Iowa. This is part of her response regarding “what’s happening”:

        “Here are some links about what is happening here: ( http://lindaegenes.com/fairfields-sustainable-living-coalition/ ) Our local college was the first in the US to offer a Sustainability degree,( https://www.mum.edu/academic-departments/sustainable-living/) and thank goodness many, many other colleges and universities followed suit with bigger bucks to invest in those programs and meet the growing demand. In the meanwhile I am overjoyed with the influx of young people this program precipitates. My husband and I share with our neighbors a garden with two greenhouses which employ an array of sustainable modalities to be 4 season, even in Iowa where we sometimes have minus-20 degree winters plus wind chills. There is usually enough produce to give to our food pantry, share with others. Buying and growing and producing local is very important to us. http://seiowafoodhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/food-guide2014comp1.pdf Our Farmers Market promotes getting to know the growers, trusting their food, minus the expensive, technical “organic” labels, which take at least 3 years to acquire. There may be shortcomings to where I live, but a dearth of good food is not one of them.”

        This is only one person’s small bit. There are many others situations in many other places. For all folks who really want to do something, there is always something to do. Leadership is not required for that, just personal responsibility. Get up, get to it. I am going to a rally led by my district’s senators and representatives in Newark on Sunday. The person that sent the above comments will be in DC next week for the inauguration. We are here. We are working. Find a cause and support it.

        Be who you are!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Expanding on a previous comment, in this technological age, we have to be about redefining and operationalizing the concept ‘We, the People’. An old hippie friend sent this to me. I had never heard of it. Pretty funky, but interesting idea. I do not endorse it, but it is worth exploring as a concept.

    “Have any of you ever participated in a Pecha Kucha evening? http://www.pechakucha.org/ FAQ http://www.pechakucha.org/faq

    We had several rounds of this program at ICON (http://www.icon-art.org/) and it is a brilliant way to share ideas and introduce oneself to your neighbor’s interests and passions, and share your own. Twenty slides for 20 seconds each to share your topic, whether it be art, science, philosophy, anything that can be distilled into visual images. 20 x 20

    One of my favorites from our local evenings is from our organizer/steward, photographer, Mark Petrick, and can give you an idea of what a presentation looks like: http://www.pechakucha.org/cities/fairfield/presentations/on-clouds

    If you study the website you can see the wide, wide, WIDE variety of amazing topics covered. http://www.pechakucha.org/channels/pechakucha/blogs?category=city-focus It doesn’t take much to organize an evening like this, just the knowledge of putting together a PowerPoint and a venue. I encourage registering with the Pecha Kucha program and taping all to share. Starting with even just a half dozen presenters can launch a year’s worth of sharing.”

    Get people together and get them talking to each other. You wonder about leadership? Here it is, right here. I have offered some suggestions for mobilization. I am collecting more. That is the way it is done these days. We, as a people, will not abandon the theater of live demonstration. But too often, media coverage can either destroy or distort what is actually going on such that no street level demonstration can sometime be a good thing. Better to keep the circle, and the event, tight. You say that those who care are left to deal (with the current situation). Yeah, so deal. Lead. The soap box is yours, Josh. And yours whoever you are. Where do we go from here?

    Be well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like-minded people getting together to discuss how like-minded they are changes nothing.
      We need movements, in the streets. We are creating new media, the best we can to cover those movements, but it does take time for people to abandon the corporate brainwashing they’ve come to know and love. Look at this last election. Look at the demographics of the voting. The people of the past have pushed the world of the future past the brink.
      I say the world needs the hippies now, because I’ve watched Occupy fail, and I’ve watched BLM get dragged through the mud simply because they lack cohesive organization and a cohesive voice, which is something experienced hippies and movement leaders could provide if they weren’t so busy trying to hobnob with the power elite or make names for themselves.
      As for me, the days where I could be an effective leader passed when I got sick. I am also a generation removed away from the ones who really should be making the decisions that will affect people in the future anyway.
      The best I can really do is write a post for a few people to read and get offended by in the hopes maybe someone who can do something will get inspired to do something.


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