A young writer who believes herself hip, Lauren Martin, claims our generation, Generation Y, can be likened to that of the 60s culture. Martin, writing in Elite Daily- the online publication of the “Voice of Generation-Y”, compares millennials as modern day hippies. Apparently we smoke a lot of weed, wear tie-dye, and go to music festivals (where most of us don’t even know the names of the artists playing), so that automatically means we are “flower children.” With more than 50 years since the 1960s, we couldn’t be further from the days of protest and free love. We are our own generation, with a nostalgia for the past, and doing a horrible job at mimicking it.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “hippie” as, “a usually young person who rejects the mores of established society and advocates a nonviolent ethic; broadly : a long-haired unconventionally dressed young person.” Martin seems to describe a “hippie” as, “defying our parents’ idea of a ‘real’ job, inhabiting dirty studio apartments and attending festivals by the sea.” Martin seems to be confused as to what a hippie actually is.
The actual flower children of the 60s were the first major counterculture generation and refused mainstream norms like getting a job in an office, or a haircut for that matter. They listened to music that talked about sex and drugs but were the most peaceful and kind people, regardless if they were high from marijuana or not. Stereotypes aside, these people believed in peace and love, and fought for it. They did not judge those who were different, and welcomed all types of people with open arms.
Fast forward to our generation. Take a look around you: you see most young people going to a college their parents are paying for, engaging in acts of violence left and right, and caring more about Miley Cyrus than the revolution in Ukraine. The fact is we rely on our iPhones instead of reading books, drive more than we walk, and are quick to judge others.
Even those who do coin themselves modern day hippies are anything but. They may have dreadlocks and worship Phish, but if you say you don’t like Phish, they will be the first to judge you. These self-labeled hippies are in college getting degrees and going to music festivals, overdosing on designer drugs laced with who knows what. Should have just stuck with the weed, man.
None of what our generation is or stands for relates to the 60s. Martin is quick to relate the legalization of weed to our generation, but guess who actually legalized it? Old hippies that got into politics. “We” did nothing to make weed legal, except maybe shed the stereotypes of a typical pot smoker which helped the marijuana image ease up a bit.
Martin also relates that we are in “a time of rock and roll.” Please, I beg you to name a band or artist today that even comes close to Led Zeppelin or The Beatles. The fact is, we have pretty crappy music. You can thank Skrillex and Kayne West, who by the way are the ones headlining all these current day music festivals Martin so quickly relates to “Woodstock”. As if.
Our generation flashes the peace sign, buys portable turntables, and decorates with tapestries in hopes of reliving the golden years that were the 60s. The fact is, we are our own generation, with new likes and dislikes, and that is OK. Let’s stop defining ourselves and just be who we are so our kids can wish they lived when we did. We can have a nostalgia for the past, but it’s time to make our own future.
It is ok to like The Grateful Dead, but unless you were there to see Jerry Garcia in the flesh, please don’t call yourself a hippie.