Professor: Peter Barnes Student: Isaac Scoria Date: September 29, 2013 Comparative Essay: Contemporary Hipsters and Classic Hippies Throughout the years people always had the need to express their individuality, and the way its been done has constantly varied in multiple dimensions. Of course time has played a key role but it’s not been the only determinant.
It seems for societal changes to occur on a prolific wave-like manner, infecting people, giving them a sense of identification with the current wave of expression. Although somewhat insistent, the unstructured nature of the act allows for individual creativity to take place and perhaps be distinguished enough to influence other people in the same circle; characters who have accomplished this throughout different waves have earned the prestigious title of trendsetters.
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This esteemed title however has been recently craved by so many, it has incubated the newest and most recent trend in subcultures across the globe: Hipsters. What’s curious about it, however, is that unlike massive and contagious movements in history (as with hippies), Hipsters are hardhearted by their unrevealed sense of identity to the subculture that surrounds him/her.
Hippies on the other hand, although with similar characteristics, physical traits and beliefs, stand parallel to Hipsters in the proudly manner they self- proclaimed themselves Hippies. With this interesting note, we begin our attempt to balance these two sub-cultures with an aim to explore the births of one another, what each one stands/stood for, their do’s and don’t, and most importantly, what sort of benefits to society have brought the kind of personalities these subcultures eave given birth to.
The hippie subculture was originally a youth movement that begun in San Francisco, United States in the sass’s, the word “Hippie” derives from Hipster and was originally used to describe Beatniks; not the people you can spot walking around town with a zebra hat these days. The Beats were rebellious group of writers and poets who embraced consciousness expansion through the use of mind altering chemicals, group sex and Jazz music. Hippies inherited most of their core cultural values from the Beats and glorified peace icons like Mahatma Ghanaian and Jesus Christ.
This group of dingy, long fuzzy hair characters loved to do things like peace drives, oppose the Vietnam War, and listen to psychedelic music from bands like the Jefferson Airplanes and The Grateful Dead, have lots of wild sex with as many random people as possible, and dance around in a gleeful style while blasting their brains with lots of the Hippie movement would never have emerged without the creation of this hallucinogen agent by Dry.
Albert Hoffman, who in April 16 of 19431 after accidentally ingesting the drug describes its effect as “medicine for the soul”. In 1965 when LSI pilled out of top-secret government laboratories, it unleashed a wave of “psychedelic madness” that attracted American youth, transforming it overnight and paving way for a revolution against the traditional American values that teenagers at the time felt were being imposed upon them.
They became rebels and challenged long-held American traditions. Men grew long beards and hair, women started taking birth control pills allowing them to experiment sexually for the first time in an era when HIVE disease was still out of the world’s radar; traditions like marriage and child rearing were thrown overboard and the large availability of drugs attracted the tens of thousands of young Americans, (mainly white) that with phrases like “Groovy man”, “that’s far out! And Timothy Learns popular “Turn on, tune in, drop out! ” were sold by the ideas of the hippies. In regard to the contemporary Hipster, its roots aren’t as clear. There was no clear and unanimous moment that defined the roots for Hipsters as it happened with Hippies. In light of this commonly agreed statement, a clever approach the writer for The New York Times, Mark Grief, took to trace the Hipster origins started in Wicker
Park, Chicago in the nineties with sociologist Richard Lloyd documenting “how what he called “neo-Bohemia” unwittingly turned into something else: the seedbed for post-1999 hipsters. ” Lloyd was referring to a group of young aspiring artist who’s day Jobs involved working at coffee shops or bars and could inadvertently provide the setting for “new, late-capitalist commerce in design, marketing, and web development. The trendy environment established by the “neo-bohemian” outside of the corporate headquarters of large cities made attractive hang-outs for the up and miming newly rich folks from exploding internet ventures and trust fund babies, setting the -still incubated, sub culture up for a whole new deal of attention and exposure. Through the years, hipsters became more nuanced and alive in society, more connected through a shared sense of music (unknown Indies bands), developed a particular style (single-gear bicycles), and eventually their own attitudinal characteristics (typically ironic).
It is a predictable reaction by the widely educated/social elite, and with reason, since both Hippies and Hipsters are rebellious pictures with its core roots set on going against mainstream culture. Both acting with an unquestionable desire to reject the predestined path society has designed and come to expect from all; in this sense Hippies and Hipsters could be viewed as twins separated at birth, then thrown into different decades of time and connected only by a blind hate that’s unbound by time. In the sass’s the first image of a man growing his hair was perceived as a sign of homosexuality, but this way of thought changed. One young man responded after being questioned about his unkempt appearance: Growing hair does not mean that I am or am not a homosexual. It does mean that I am willing to stand up for my rights as a human being and that includes my right to be harmless to all people. It also indicates my unwillingness to get on the treadmill of killing for a vast machine-like government. If I am scorned and called dirty because I allow hair to grow on my face and my head, then so much the better, for by this I indicate the seriousness of my belief.
I scorn the society that has created this monstrous robot-like conformity that feeds the war machine as Hitler found robots to deed his war machine. “3 Hippies were also fond of drugs like marijuana (they used to call it reefer) and LSI (as mentioned above) as a form of mental relaxation. Hippies did not see drugs as dangerous habits; they used them to reach higher levels of thought and spiritual freedom, with the help of drugs they transcended consciousness and put a step forward in their newly adapted all-welcoming lifestyle.
American society highly rejected this behavior. Most people criticized them for their loose morals and devotion to drugs. Especially the open attitude hippies had towards sex, which was noninsured taboo before the sass’s. Hippies participating in public sex and massive orgies exposed the American youth to the idea while “square minded” parents struggled to keep the topic off the dinner table. Despite of the negative impacts of hippies, there were many ways that hippies helped shape modern America to what it has become today.
This group of people was very ladybird in their attitude compared to the rest of society during the time. Their motto of brotherhood promoted ethnic equality and helped the less privileged by kindly sharing resources, something that at the time was not a popular overspent policy. Sex ceased to be taboo and by the end of the Hippie movement (into the sass’s) social pressures came down and society did not feel as uptight as it did the decade earlier.
Hippies became infused on American culture and centralization of hippie trends spurred in consumer goods giving rise on opportunities to capitalize on the thousands of followers in this movement. In rights are presumed of being derived since the times of the hippies. In regard to the contemporary Hipster, the apple didn’t land too far from the tree. Hipsters have revived society with a different view on things ranging from looks to supporting local produce. In an article titled “10 Great Cultural Contributions by Judy Barman enlists some of the signature contributions we’ve seen popularized by the hipster movement.
Starting with the new fashion used by man who grow their beard, with Each Californians, the actor mostly renown from starring in The Hangover, being at the vanguard of the trend. The new “handmade” movement and boutique “artisan” goods have been introduced and supported throughout by Hipsters wherever they open shop. This type of consumption habits is not only good in it of itself; it also supports local businesses. This creates wealth for the middle class, which is a key aspect of a healthy economy.
Another vital trend where hipsters are credited for being at the forefront is at promoting conservation. Using alternatives modes of transportation like riding a bike to work or driving a hybrid. This lifestyle reminds everyone around hipsters of being environmentally conscious, true hipsters are said to carry this habit wherever they move from time to time. Although there have been articles about the death of the contemporary hipster already published in prominent magazines, including The Harvard Crimsons and The Chives.