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Is This The Beginning Of The End Of The Influence Of The Liberal, Radical, Hippie, Baby Boomer Left?

By       Message Kevin Tully     Permalink
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Who are we Boomers going to emulate this political season -- Gandhi, Jane Fonda, Cheech, Chong or Billy Jack? I'm thinking Billy Jackism is appropriate considering who the opponents are. I'm certainly not advocating real righteous violence, -- just a whole lot of metaphorical ass-kicking. It's time to root around in the closet under the stairs, find your old tattered freak flag and let it fly, man! (and woman, of course).


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As a boomer I don't want this to be true. But, I think it is. Is this good? Of course I will say -- no. However most of my group has either slunk into obscurity, become comfortably agnostic or stumbles around in a tie-dyed nostalgic haze. Yes, there certainly are shining examples of enlightened Boomerism roaming the confused land -- I just can't think of any right now -- oh yeah -- many elderly dope smokers are demanding to know the provenance of their weed.

And it is so sad that now when it appears that many of the existential, enlightened paradigm shifting changes to American and global thought and deed created and promulgated by the Boomers have been adopted and built upon by the younger generation -- the Boomers are glibly and tastefully ostentatiously, sailing, attending the concert of a 60's or 70's band with one remaining original member (an obscure base player or guitar tech that sang harmony on occasion), building a four thousand square foot, green, home or intending to vote for President Obama without subsequent activism.

I for one have at least tried to grow my hair back out. However long, thin gray hair is just not that appealing. Although I do have some buddies that look good with long, thin, gray hair -- I look like an extra in the asylum scenes from that movie about the Marquis de Sade.

While contemplating the previous couple of sentences I may have stumbled upon something -- What if all of us Liberal Boomers where to revert, aesthetically, back to our hippie selves?

Last evening I went to an art opening attended by all the usual, wonderful yet somewhat aged, suspects. We were certainly glad to see each other; the conversation, art, wine and brownies were great. Yes, there were male ponytails and ankle length multi-colored dresses, however the true hippie aesthetic was nowhere on display -- there was absolutely no discussion about politics, war, peace or the environment. There was much discussion about where we where going and where we had been: New England, Bhutan, Ireland, Galveston -- the bathroom.

Then, a young, enthusiastic, confident artist walked in, posted himself next to his piece and demanded and received intelligent, cogent discussion about his work and art in general. My goodness, there it was -- raw, naïve, engaged idealism -- the kid was a hippie!

However, when I excitedly tried to engage him in a conversation about politics, war, peace and the environment he simply smiled pleasantly and said he didn't watch the news. Oh my God! A hippie not interested in politics, war, peace and the environment!

Completely crest fallen I shuffled, dejectedly, back to the table of wine and brownies.

He certainly looked like a hippie: longish hair in his eyes, somewhat threadbare corduroy slacks, rough leather shoes that looked folded -- like origami, multiple necklaces and bracelets and a mauve woolen cap pinning his pointy little ears to the side of his vacuous, snotty little head! A fake hippie! This little punk was a fake hippie!

Son of a b**ch, we did it, we raised our kids with our aesthetic but we forgot to fill in the blanks. We took 'em bowling in Birkenstocks and fringy leather jackets, we dressed 'em for a bar-mitzvah in a tie-die t-shirt under a very expensive camel hair sport coat, we eco-vacationed in the new Viet Nam, we paid a ridiculous amount of money for rock band summer camp, we insisted it was ok to golf in Chuck Taylor high-tops -- we tuned-in, turned-on, then, completely copped out!

Yet, to the surprise of my shallow, judgmental self the little creep must have noticed that our brief conversation had left me angry, depressed, petty and heavily drinking -- he purposefully terminated, what appeared to be, a good conversation on art and moved purposefully, again, through the room of other filthy, old hippies over to the table of wine and brownies.

"Excuse me sir, are you familiar with the Occupy Movement?" he asked me, reaching for one of the dark chocolate brownies with chipoltle chili and green peppercorns. What was this little pseudo-groovy "artist" trying to do -- butter me up -- what did he want?

"Of course, I completely support the Occupy folks and what they're doing", I replied, smugly, avoiding eye contact.

"Good, I was afraid you might just be an old hippie", he said, obviously delighted with himself -- wearing a phony serious, pretend adult, expression. Then the little jerk grabbed another brownie, walked back to his pretentsious work of art and shot me the peace sign.



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Kevin is (writing about yourself in the third person (illeism) is a trip) an artist/writer/carpenter and frustrated songwriter living in Johnson City, Texas. His latest frustrating songwriting attempt is titled, "I Touched the Hand That Touched (more...)

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