March 18, 2010

"We want a society where your birth certificate is your passport, and everything is free."

That's a quote from Abbie Hoffman, from a 1971 article in The New York Times called "Ripping Off, The New Lifestyle." I ran across it this morning as I was preparing to teach United States Department of Agriculture v. Moreno (1973), a case about a 1971 amendment to the food stamp program that kept unrelated persons from qualifying as a household. The Supreme Court saw it as "a bare congressional desire to harm a politically unpopular group" — that is, hippies — which is not a legitimate governmental interest.

If you want to get a feeling for why Congress freaked out about hippies, go read that article. It's hilarious and disturbing. There's the commune called The Orphanage that has a sign on the wall reading: "The Best Things in Life Are Free — If You Steal Them From the Bourgeoisie." They collected unemployment, welfare, and food stamps (which they sold). The preferred method of getting food was shoplifting.
Ripping off — stealing to the uninitiated — is rapidly become as much a part of the counterculture as drugs and rock music.... [H]undreds of young people live solely off goods they are able to liberate from private enterprise and funds they manage to extract from the Government. Thousands more supplement conventional income with frequent forays, as often for the sheer joy of bilking hated institutions as for the plunder itself.

... College graduates who once might have dreamed of, say, a law partnership, now fantasize knocking over a Brink's truck....

Behind the new morality of theft without guilt is a radical ideology — some would call it a rationalization — which sees America as a society based on the rip off, its most respected citizens businessmen who have most successfully held up the most people... "The dictionary of law is written by the bosses of order," writes [Abbie] Hoffman. "Our moral dictionary says no heisting from each other. To steal from a brother or sister is evil. To not steal from the institutions that are the pillars of the Pig Empire is equally immoral."...

Youths line up at unemployment insurance offices, happily explaining they can't find work because potential employers object to long hair, and at supermarket checkout counters where the signs say, "We Accept Food Stamps."

"Programs intended to help deserving poor folks are perverted to subsidize hippie communes," charges California Gov. Ronald Reagan. "Poverty-stricken mothers stand in line at the market to buy meager amounts of beans and dried milk, and watch shaggy dropouts use food stamps to pay for steaks and butter." ...
Here, the NYT notes the amendment to the food stamp law that was held unconstitutional in Moreno.
Is ripping off piecemeal revolution, an unorganized conspiracy of hit-and-run assaults on capitalism, or is it simply criminality without the extenuating circumstances of forced poverty?
The NYT had to ask! They consulted a sociology professor, Irving Louis Horowitz, who gave them this incredible quote:
"There's no longer any distinction between political dissent and deviant behavior.... The two are becoming one, and obviously the merger is going to lead to strategies that are traditionally considered criminal."

"But when blacks riot in the ghettos, is it a crime or a political act?... When young radicals steal from corporations that are involved in price-fixing, tax evasion and false advertising, is it a crime or a political statement? Ripping off is essentially a moral outcry. The ambiguity is where morality ends and petty thievery begins."
Ah! Sociology professors. What would we do without them?

Meanwhile, Gov. Ronald Reagan went on to become President of the United States in 1981. And that was the same year the fantasy of "knocking over a Brink's truck" came true. A friend of a friend of the Brink's robber-murderers is now President of the United States, and people who don't like him like to ascribe radical ideas to him, but in fact he's a little younger than the Baby Boomers like me who, en masse, warmed to the ideology of Abbie Hoffman, et al., back in 1971. The radicalism of today is tame stuff compared to what was freely spouted and admired back then.

87 comments:

ricpic said...

We want a society where...everything is free.

Even as a young man I had an intuition that the hippie and the criminal were only a hair's breadth apart.

Blue@9 said...

Wow, amazing. Despite the hippies' whining about the unjust nature of society, they weren't aware of just how lucky they were to live in a society that would tolerate such nonsense. Many places in the world would not humor them so.

traditionalguy said...

The Organiser of the community chants, "Kill the pig, kill the pig". That is a tribal instinct that must be in human DNA somewhere. If we live without faith in the scripture's version of our essential goodness in Christ, then we live among a tribal heirarchy where the strongest is acknowledge as the Great Leader and the tribe basks in his leavings from attacks directed against other tribes. That describes the role chosen by Abbie Hoffman and by Barack Obama as well. Remember that "Racism" is a chant that the "other tribe" is only a pig to be killed and its stuff taken/eaten. Americans dealt with that instinct successfully. The Emperor of Japan and the King of Saudi Arabia never have...and that's why Obama bows before them and sees only wisdom in their superiority.

Larry J said...

When people bitch about the excesses of the Baby Boomers, they have a legitimate gripe when it comes to assholes like Hoffman. However, there are millions of us who never acted this way. We were never stupid enough to believe that "everything should be free" because that would require the people who produce things to be slaves to those who demand it.

somefeller said...

An article about Abbie Hoffman's antics 40 years ago. Yawn. Pete Townshend made the definitive statement about Hoffman when he knocked him off the stage at Woodstock. Nothing relevant about him today. Incidentally, the Dr. Horowitz you mention (I'm assuming this is the same man) is a noted conservative scholar.

andrew said...

Blue@9:

Given the fact if he were alive today I would have gladly "ripped" him and his family off at gunpoint to see if he still thought it was edgy and counter-culture, yes I would have to agree with you about him existing in a society that tolerated such nonsense. He died when I was 4.

XWL said...

With one small (highlighted, and italicized) change, I can turn that quote into the Obama Administration Manifesto:


"Ripping off — stealing to the uninitiated — is rapidly become as much a part of the counterculture as drugs and rock music.... [H]undreds of young people live solely off goods they are able to liberate from private enterprise and funds they manage to extract FOR the Government."

Aridog said...

I had to blink a few times when I ready the sentence about baby boomers being older than a certain radical....mistook your reference for Ayers.

Now Mr. Ayers, POS that he is, is considerably older than you. And he looks even older than that.

BTW...we had so called "Hippies" running around Madison on campus in the early 60's...most waving signs like "Viva Castro" and such....never mind the Cuban revolution was over with. The spirit lived on...

AJ Lynch said...

If I was emperor, there'd be an online database where we could see the total govt benefits received by year by recipient's social security number. You know like public housing, welfare, medicaid benefits, paid day care, unemployment, job training, college and school grants, food stamps, etc. We'd be shocked [or maybe not] at how some folks scam the system year after years after year.

Issob Morocco said...

The price of freedom is responsibility.

Skyler said...

"We want a society where your birth certificate is your passport, and everything is free."

Well, it's nice to want things. My three year old daughter "wants" a lot of things too. I'm pretty sure she's growing out of such infantile behavior.

mvl said...

Sounds like one wonderful way to live.

Like Communists not living in the places they tell everyone to model, hippies always seem to love expensive shit and buying stuff.

I've met enough of them to believe this is true. Lefties are frauds.

FormerTucsonan said...

Teenage Wind - Frank Zappa, 1981

Spoken: It's a miserable Friday night I'm so lonely And nobody'll give me a ride to the Grateful Dead concert...Oh rats!

I got to be free
Free as the wind
Free is the way
I got to be

Maybe I'm lost
Maybe I sinned
I got to be
Totally free

Our parents don't love us
Our teachers they say
Things that are boring
So we're running away
And we will be free
And people will see
That when we are free
That's the way we should be

Spoken: Nothing left to do but get out the 'ol glue...
(Sniff it good now...)

Our parents don't love us
(DIPSHIT!)
Our teachers they say
(DIPSHIT!)
Things that are boring
(DIPSHIT!)
So we're running away
(DIPSHIT!)
And we will be free
(DIPSHIT!)
And people will see
(DIPSHIT!)
That when we are free
(DIPSHIT!)
That's the way we should be
(DIP, DIP, DIPSHIT!)
(WE MUST BE FREE!)

Spoken: The glue! The glue! I can't find the glue!
(WE MUST BE FREE AS THE WIND)

Spoken: If I was at the concert now, I'd be RIPPED!
(WE WERE FREE WHEN WE WERE BORN)

Spoken: I could tighten my headband for an extra rush
During Jerry's guitar solo
Then I could go to a midnite show of 200 MOTELS!


(WE WERE BORN FREE, BUT, NOW WE ARE NOT FREE ANYMORE!)
BUT WE WANNA BE FREE
AN' WERE GONNA BE FREE

YES, WE WANT TO BE FREE AND WE'RE GONNA BE FREE
... did you know that
FREE IS WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE TO
PAY FOR NOTHING
OR DO NOTHING
WE WANT TO BE FREE
FREE AS THE WIND

FREE IS WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE TO
PAY FOR NOTHING
OR DO NOTHING
WE WANT TO BE FREE
FREE AS THE WIND

FREE IS WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE TO
PAY FOR NOTHING
OR DO NOTHING
WE WANT TO BE FREE
FREE AS THE WIND

FREE IS WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE TO
PAY FOR NOTHING
OR DO NOTHING
WE WANT TO BE FREE
FREE AS THE WIND

XWL said...

"The price of freedom is responsibility."

The allure of socialism is irresponsibility without consequence.

dick said...

Are you proud of having spouted and admired those beliefs back then?

I am a little older and those beliefs totally turned me off then and still do to this day. Must be why I am not into the 60's music then or now as well. The whole philosophy just never made any sense at all, but then I was raised to believe in personal responsibility and not group think. Welfare was for when you had no other option and was accepted only as a last option. You took any job that paid the bills, again when there was no other option. Now we see all these people who are too good to look anywhere other than their field to get work and complain that there are no jobs out there. Their parents and grandparents would have spit on them.

Fen said...

I killed a hippie/criminal once.

Felt good. Like putting down a rabid dog.

Alex said...

Another reason I despise hippies. They're simply criminals sponging off the hard work of others. Why should I work hard at all? I might as well become hippie garbage and employ all these methods!

Big Mike said...

Ah! Sociology professors. What would we do without them?

You may not be very welcome in teh Sewell Building for a while. Forget about walks in Muir Woods without Meade close at hand.

... like me who, en masse, warmed to the ideology of Abbie Hoffman ...

Some of us were smart enough not to be taken in. Nearly all of the leaders of "the Movement" came from wealth and knew they could use that wealth to shield them from the consequences of their own ideology. Most famously Bill Ayers was the son of the CEO of the Chicago power utility.

Hoffman swallowed 150 tablets of phenobarbitol and died in a turkey coop.

Balfegor said...

What absolutely horrid people.

TosaGuy said...

Douchebag hipster children of these hippy douchbags now get on food stamps to buy luxury food items at Whole Foods."

Roger J. said...

Sociology professors--law professors--not a dimes worth of difference. Neither contribute an iota to human improvement.

Dr.D said...

"... and everything is free."

This clearly reflects a mental disorder. Anyone who thinks straight knows that work is required to provide things, whether it be food, drink, housing, clothing, you name it. It all requires an effort, and that is worth something. Why should it all be free? Why should other people work for no return, so that you can consume freely?

You have to be certifiably insane to think like this. Of course, that is just another name for Leftist Liberal.

Tibore said...

"We want a society where your birth certificate is your passport, and everything is free."

Yet another reason to dislike Hoffman. He wanted consequence-free, responsibility-free living. There's another word for that: Leech.

And that's the kinder word to use. Given their propensity - nay, their impetus, their presumed "obligation" - to rip off from those who actually produce ("... To not steal from the institutions that are the pillars of the Pig Empire is equally immoral...") , there are far worse words to attach to them.

For supposedly being creatures of love, there was an awful lot of hate advocated by the leadership of the counterculture. "Pillars of the Pig Empire"? Wonder if they included all the mom & pop stores they ripped off who were merely struggling to get by in that description...

traditionalguy said...

There you go again, Professor. Making a birth certificate into a legal requirement is anti-Obama on the face of it. Or did Hoffman mean born somewhere on this planet? That's OK, then.

Alex said...

Hell even Karl Marx never said anything is free. Those early Bolsheviks were very hard workers, made of stern stuff.

Balfegor said...

Re: TosaGuy

What awful people!

About half of his friends in Baltimore have been getting food stamps since the economy toppled, so he decided to give it a try; to his delight, he qualified for $200 a month.

$200 a month? That's $50 a week! It's not swimming in luxury, I guess, but that can buy an awful lot.

"There are many 20-somethings from educated families who go through a period of unemployment and live very frugally, maybe even technically in poverty, who now qualify," said Parke Wilde, a food economist at Tufts University who has written extensively about food stamp usage and policy.

This is absurd. If they're from "educated families" -- what is that, code for the upper middle class? -- are we supposed to believe that their families cannot spare the $200 to keep their spawn off the public dole? It's socially irresponsible it is! Both on the part of these leeches and the parents that raised them to think this kind of thing is okay. Absolutely shameful.

somefeller said...

Fen says: I killed a hippie/criminal once. Felt good. Like putting down a rabid dog.

This sounds like a story you want to share. Do tell.

garage mahal said...

This sounds like a story you want to share. Do tell.

I was waiting how long that would go unnoticed, as if it were a perfectly sane thing to do or say. Guess it got lost amidst all the hippie punching and discussing how food stamps are pure evil.

El Pollo Real said...

A neighbor: 33 years old, white, healthy, college educated, middle class. Direct quote:

"Free healthcare? I'm down with that."

He wasn't kidding and he assumed that people better off than he would pay the bill.

I take comfort in knowing that some good minds are just misled.

AJ Lynch said...

"Parke Wilde, a food economist"

WTF is a food economist! Asswipes like him have been beating the drum about "food insecurity" lately so now about 50 million expect food stamps like the "worthy" well-off kids in the article.

David said...

"The Revolting Generation . . ."

mesquito said...

Whenever I read about s burglar getting shot, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling.

TosaGuy said...

Garage,

Taking government aid such as food stamps when you don't need it is violence upon those who truly need it.

David said...

To Gararge, Re Fen the Hippie Killer:

I took it as a flat out lie designed to attract attention. Must you always rise to the bait? You would be a short lived fish.

David said...

Also, an example of the activist court run amok, substituting its view of what is "rational" for that of the Congress. It's most telling that the Court could have invalidated the regulation as going beyond the statutory intent, but instead chose to invalidate the entire section of the statute.

I dream sometimes of going back to law school, and not doing nearly as well as I did the first time around. But the questions are still interesting.

Balfegor said...

Guess it got lost amidst all the hippie punching and discussing how food stamps are pure evil.

Food stamps are fine. I have no problem supplying the poor with a bit of my money so they don't starve in the gutters. The working poor, particularly the poor who are themselves descended from poor families -- the hereditary lower classes, if you will -- are objects of legitimate sympathy.

What I do have a problem with is 30 year old scions of the educated middle classes taking food stamps, when they've almost certainly got family who can afford to pay, and they've got education enough that they ought to have been able to save a bit for hard times. Those cretins in the Salon article are thirty for heaven's sake!

AJ Lynch said...

I am surprised Fen has only killed one hippie.

garage mahal said...

Tosa
I agree. There have been times in my life I definitely could have got some sort of assistance. Never tried though. I do remember once going to this church to get some food though when I first got married. Pretty fucking humbling experience.

Fred4Pres said...

Abby Hoffman used to go on the Howard Stern Show all the time. Howard got him to admit once that on a dare, while drunk, he had sex with another man while their respective wives watched.

He killed himself a few weeks later.

Ann Althouse said...

"Are you proud of having spouted and admired those beliefs back then?"

I myself didn't spout such ideas. I disliked the political radical types, wasn't political, and would never steal anything or rip off anyone.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Balfager said: "This is absurd. If they're from "educated families" -- what is that, code for the upper middle class? -- are we supposed to believe that their families cannot spare the $200 to keep their spawn off the public dole?"

When my husband and I first got married,young but no kids, my mother-in-law, who's solidly middle class and generally pretty conservative, urged us to go on food stamps or some sort of welfare, saying that it was there for people to use it.

We had never asked them (or anyone) for money. I don't think that we had even seriously complained about lack of money, other than along the lines of "well, that'd be nice if we could afford it." Things were tight, but we were never doing without anything necessary, like food or health insurance. We even managed cable TV and the occasional cheap vacation.

I have no idea what she was thinking. I still scratch my head about it.

- Lyssa

Blue@9 said...

Taking government aid such as food stamps when you don't need it is violence upon those who truly need it.

Agreed. People who do this are douchebags for a number of reasons:

1) They take resources from the truly needy, particularly when gov'ts are strapped and having to cut back on assistance.
2) It makes people angry and more likely to call for cutbacks in social programs, further hurting the poor.

I suppose if you truly hate the poor, the best thing you could do is take advantage of these programs and flaunt it publicly.

BTW, this is one reason I absolutely detest the fucking wannabe hippie panhandlers in Haight Ashbury. There are actual poor people who panhandle, people who are old and worn down by years of drug abuse or violence or mental illness--those people are actually deserving of sympathy and some change. The twenty-something douchebag who panhandles because it's cool deserves little more than derision (or maybe a kick in the teeth).

Pogo said...

"The radicalism of today is tame stuff compared to what was freely spouted and admired back then."

The 1960s radicalism was adolescent and stupid, never to be realized.

It changed into the buttoned-down radicalism of today, where you can make everything 'free' by stealing from the bourgeoisie using the Constitution.

And they did it.
They won.
Congratulations, Aquarians.

Now inherit the wind.

William said...

Abbie suffered from bipolar disorder. He medicated himself with cocaine and LSD. I'm no psychologist but I can't imagine any worse regimen for a manic depressive.....The surprising thing is not that a disordered person had disordered thoughts, but that his disordered thoughts were considered grand insights and his drug seeking behavior was viewed as a noble quest....Some hotshot Hollywood producer is making a biopic of Hoffman. Dollars to donuts, he will be presented as some kind of pure spirit and tragic prophet. He wasn't. He was an extremely disturbed person who led others to deaths as premature and sordid as his own. Talk about false advertising. Thalidomine, the miracle drug for morning sickness. LSD, the mood enhancer for adolescent angst.

Fen said...

Garage: I was waiting how long that would go unnoticed, as if it were a perfectly sane thing to do or say.

Shrug.

Its perfectly sane to shoot and kill a hippie breaking into your home.

I'm sure you would have just suck his cock, Garage. Of course, you always were a little metrosexual bitch.

Almost Ali said...

If there's a lesson here - and there is - it's that adults, like teenagers, are destined to repeat the same mistakes of their fathers (and mothers).

Which, as history proves, is especially dangerous when the parents are Utopians (i.e., liberals).

Luke Lea said...

I was a hippy anthropologist in the Haight in 1967 and saw it all. Acid was a great cultural solvent which dissolved even the most fundamental forms of cultural conditioning upon which our moral world is constructed. Thus I remember one episode -- this was actually in the Berkeley hills a couple of years later. I was renting a room on the top floor of a house owned by a psychiatrist and could hear everything going on downstairs. One afternoon his teenage son came in with the some stuff he had proudly shop-lifted from a local store. There commenced a long and, if I remember, inconclusive debate between the parents and their children about whether it was ok to steal stuff. It was basically a debatable issue even among the well-educated.

Anthony said...

"We want a society where your birth certificate is your passport, and everything is free."

Birth Certificate? So Abby Hoffman was a birther?

Blue@9 said...

This shit truly truly amazes me. Maybe it's because I wasn't born in the US. I really think that this particular kind of insanity is only possible in a society so decadent and wealthy that people can turn their backs on common sense.

Even some of the shit spouted today would get your ass beat in certain parts of the world. What amuses me most are the "enlightened" anti-materialists, like the hippies and other fringe leftists. Our society is so wealthy that we can sustain an entire population that thinks survival doesn't require struggle or work.

I have to admit that sometimes I look at my home country and I'm a bit disgusted at the overt and crass materialism, but then I realize why shouldn't they be materialistic? If you grew up in a bombed out hole trying to eke out enough calories to starve, it must be like living in heaven to carry a Gucci purse and drive a Mercedes. Why the fuck would you put on a hairshirt and deny yourself the psychological comfort of excess? Why would you pretend to be poor when you've been through the real thing? Maybe that's why the hippies seem so fucking stupid to me--it seems like they're just playing pretend at being poor or anti-capitalist or anti-materialistic. They know that in the end, no one is going to let them die of starvation. There are no hippies in third-world countries because people like that are left to die.

Danny said...

i grew up in India, prior to th e economic boom that began about a decade back. And I agree with Blue@9- that I dont get hippies and any other progressive/liberal Americans who choose to behave the way they do,especially on US university campuses like in Madison or Ann Arbor.

Penny said...

Hm...OK, did anyone try to read the things Althouse linked here?

Pretty funny, not to mention totally ironic, that when I went to read Abby Hoffman's letter about everything being free, I came up on a request for billing information from the NYT's.

I guess I could have read the second link which was to the case she was teaching, but frankly, I have no desire to get in quite that deep since I am not teaching that class.

Then I hit the third link and that is to another NYT's article, this one, dated 2008, but at least I don't need to pay to read it!

Between this posting and the one before, which if you haven't read in its entirety, I strongly suggest that you do; I'd say that Althouse has her "teacher" hat on with us tonight.

And if you don't mind my saying so, Ann, you look absolutely marvelous in that hat.

Sincerely,
Your student, Penny

edutcher said...

I was a liberal for about 10 minutes back then. I wised up when I heard a black man interviewed on TV when he wanted private investors to help rebuild his business after the Watts riots, "Ever been to an Indian reservation? Take a look at the way they live and realize they get everything from the government.".

I always thought back then that most of the flower children would go back to Daddy's stock brokerage firm when the blush wore off and, sure enough, an article about the Studio 54 crowd was full of people who had been hippies 10 years before. As Charlie Brown once observed, "It's thrilling to be recognized in one's own lifetime".

Ann Althouse said...

A friend of a friend of the Brink's robber-murderers is now President of the United States, and people who don't like him like to ascribe radical ideas to him, but in fact he's a little younger than the Baby Boomers like me who, en masse, warmed to the ideology of Abbie Hoffman, et al., back in 1971.

The people Barry's age soaked it up from their older brothers and sisters when they straggled home, as well as from their profs, the ones who hated the system 5 or 10 years before.

Ironic how the leading voices in the debates over this administration are both late Boomers - Barry and his nemesis, Sarah Palin.

Class factotum said...

I was going to say that I could have gotten food stamps while I was unemployed after my Peace Corps stint, but then I read the requirements. If you have any savings, you can't get them. So if you are responsible and build an emergency fund first instead of paying for cable, internet and Starbucks, you can't get food stamps.

If, however, you spend everything as you get it, you'll be fine when you lose your job.

That will teach me to save.

Class factotum said...

my mother-in-law, who's solidly middle class and generally pretty conservative, urged us to go on food stamps or some sort of welfare, saying that it was there for people to use it

My husband's parents think it would be perfectly OK for their grandchildren to get a free school lunch, even though the kids' (divorced) father could pay for it. They don't think their son has a moral obligation to buy his children's food ("It's not in the divorce decree") and if their mother's income is such that they qualify for the free lunch, why not take it? No shame in taking from the government if you are a socialist, I guess.

mc said...

"The radicalism of today is tame stuff compared to what was freely spouted and admired back then. "---Althouse

Bullshit.

Today that radicalism is steering this nation and culture's bus off the cliff.

Back then they were just asshole kids who made adults shake their heads and have piss-shivers when thinking of this nation's future...

Alex said...

mc - stop being hysterical. Today's left is very meek by comparison to the late 1960s.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

I agree MC: It's makes a big difference who is pushing it and how much power they wield. It's a whole different society when the police are stealing your lunch money rather than just some kid.

bagoh20 said...

Every criminal has an excuse, but they are few and well worn. Basically it's: "I wanted it and you had it, so I took it." Leftist ideology in a nutshell.

Ann Althouse said...

I agree that relatively tame stuff enacted is bad in a way that extreme stuff unrealized is not.

mc said...

Maybe our politicians can merge HUD, Education and Homeland Security into the Department of Growing Up?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'm a boomer.

I'm sick of the 60's generation.

They (the radicals) irritated me then.... when I was going to college AND working a full time job. A bunch of self absorbed useless twits who caused more harm than they could ever repair.

They were annoying then. They were in my way when I wanted to get to class or go to work.

They are more than annoying now.....they are seriously dangerous because they haven't grown up beyond their masturbatory teenage fantasies and NOW the assholes are in power.

The hippie, me generation, boomers should all die.

That includes the youthful hangers on who want to elevate these stupid idiot scum traitors to a misty heroic past fantasy.

Pastafarian said...

Alex said: "mc - stop being hysterical. Today's left is very meek by comparison to the late 1960s."

If I disagree, does that make me hysterical?

They're every bit as radical; they're just more subtle in their tactics, more patient, and therefore much more dangerous.

Initially, I thought that Fen was a little out-of-line with his hippie-bagging story; but reading Tosa Guy's link about the hipsters buying wild line-caught salmon and imported lemon grass with their food stamps....This gives me dark thoughts of bloody murder.

Fen said...

Libtard: You don't have to lie to make new friends. Nobody here really believes your killing a hippie story.

What have I ever done to make you beleive I give a rat's ass what anyone here thinks of me?

Go fuck yourself Garage. Fricken parasitic weasel.

pst314 said...

"mc - stop being hysterical. Today's left is very meek by comparison to the late 1960s."

Utterly untrue. Today's left has merely learned that there are other ways to destroy a nation than by throwing bombs.

mvl said...

The 60's Freeloaders found ways to sponge off the workin gman in colleges and elsewhere, teaching a generation to behave and thinkin the same lamebrained fashion, like the moron trolls here.

There are mills that turn out soft-headed soft-brained morons who are told how smart they are while the parasites remove their thinking ability.

I just can't remember the moron Obama ever talking about individualism, entrepreneurism, self-reliance, freedom...there are many more idiots like him in our universities freeloading off the work of hard men who give a shit.

It's now considered evil to be self-reliant and an individual.

How sickening.

Big Mike said...

@DBQ, usually we're on the same side of an issue, but I'm not prepared to just curl up and die just because you're not very thrilled with the sixties generation. I've been fighting the nutcases on the right ("Are you saved, brother?") and on the left (e.g., garage, Alpha, FLS, and others of that ilk) all my life. And I intend to keep on fighting. I have no plans to die, and least of all to please you.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@DBQ, usually we're on the same side of an issue, but I'm not prepared to just curl up and die just because you're not very thrilled with the sixties generation

Probably a bit depressed because I just came back from a vacation on the back side of the "blue curtain" where the 60's mentality still lives.

It was like going to another alien planet.

This mentality, not necessarily the actual persons, are what we have to fight. And I hate to say it fight isn't just a metaphorical concept here.

Big Mike said...

@garage, I have the same comment for you that I have for creationists. Just because you don't believe it, doesn't mean it's not true.

And I might add that when you're in the same boat as the creationists, you're not in great company. Not in my book, anyway.

JAL said...

The radicalism of today is tame stuff compared to what was freely spouted and admired back then.

No.

Back then it never occurred to us that the Federal Government would violate the sovereignty of the citizens who entrusted it to defend them and "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" -- by stripping our rights and hamstringing us and our posterity and our children's posterity.

Balfegor said...

Back then it never occurred to us that the Federal Government would violate the sovereignty of the citizens who entrusted it to defend them and "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" -- by stripping our rights and hamstringing us and our posterity and our children's posterity.

Didn't occur to you maybe. I'm pretty sure it occurred to them, even if they'd persuaded themselves they were on the other side. Didn't they protest the draft and think the US government was violating everyone's civil rights (RFK ordering wiretaps on MLKJr., etc. etc.)?

holdfast said...

"a bare congressional desire to harm a politically unpopular group" — that is, hippies — which is not a legitimate governmental interest."

If harming hippies is wrong, then I don't want to be right!

Calypso Facto said...

It would be funny when the children of the bourgeoisie want to play act as Common People except that they always seem to want to use your money to do it....

wv: crache. The Euro-style implosion of the American experiment.

Oligonicella said...

"... but in fact he's a little younger than the Baby Boomers like me who, en masse, warmed to the ideology of Abbie Hoffman."

I wasn't part of that 'en masse', despite being one of the first long hairs in K.C. Perhaps because I had a grandfather who made damned sure I worked like a dog when I was thirteen and came to understand 'free' ain't.

Always thought Hoffman was a tool and always had ideological fights with sponges who wanted to crash indefinitely at my paid for house.

John Lawton said...

God, I miss Ronald Reagan!

Fred4Pres said...

Okay, if you were born between 1944 and 1961, because Abbie Hoffman is a klepto and Barack Obama wants to redistribut wealth you have to give up any Medicare or Social Security benefits.

Unless you served in Vietnam.

That is my modest solution for fixing Medicare and Social Security.

Ta Da!

TheGiantPeach said...

I suppose this is a follow-up piece to the one earlier this week about how Rush Limbaugh's worldview was affected by his scorn for hippies.

What I find remarkable is how much we are talking about hippies, and how strong the emotions that they raise, when really, the whole hippie movement was extremely short-lived.

I am not much younger than you are, Ann, and by the time I graduated high school, hippie-ism had ceased to be whatever it was -- social criticism, political philosophy -- and had morphed into an esthetic. There were all sorts of things that were designed to be in hippie fashion.

What is ironic is that people were making and selling things, engaged in commerce, all touting the hippie brand. It was mostly clothing, I suppose, but also things like posters and jewelry and a seemingly endless supply of novelty items that almost define a certain surreal character of the seventies. What started out as a radical anti-capitalist creed became a lucrative cottage industry.

I suppose if there hadn't been hippies, there wouldn't be Celestial Seasonings tea today ... so I say the whole phenomenon was a net positive.

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader_iam said...

Back then it never occurred to us that the Federal Government would violate the sovereignty of the citizens who entrusted it...

Well, why the hell didn't it occur to you? Do you not get what that "not occurring" means, and how that might connect to a responsibility that belongs to you?

Seriously: Why **didn't** it occur to you?

amba said...

"shaggy dropouts"! "moral outcry"!

Ah, the rhetoric of another era.

wv: "happer"

we were happer when we had the Gipper
we were hipper when we had the Gapper

amba said...

Remember Abbie Hoffman killed himself. People are even more merciless to themselves in the long run than we might think they deserve. I think Michael Jackson gave himself the death penalty, too.

amba said...

The hippie, me generation, boomers should all die.

And, guess what? They will!

jeff said...

Hippies remain just as annoying as they were 40 years ago. Go to a Phish concert sometime. Watch them steal from the local convenience store owned and run by a family of Somalian immigrants working 16 hour days to be part of the American dream. Fuck Hippies. Back in my drinking days I would attend music festivals in Columbus, Ohio organized by Akoostic Hookah. We would spend the weekend drinking beer and watching the hippies. We would string soap up around our tents with fishing line. It was our hippie repellent.

Brendan said...

Ann, I appreciate your posts, but really you should include a disclaimer every time: "Yes, I voted for this nimrod. No, I can't imagine what I was thinking."

Bryan said...

Wonder what the ex-hippies would say if a new generation of protesters "stuck it to the man" by refusing to support the generational theft that is Medicaid and Social Security. Imagine a bunch of twenty-somethings "ripping off" a USPS truck and burning all those SS checks.

Would they see that as a valid form of protest? Or is protest valid only when they are the beneficiaries?

srfwotb said...

Hah Absolute Perfect WV: Bumies

Sounds like the hobo song "Big Rock Candy Mountain":

Some lines:

Where the handouts grow on bushes, and you sleep out every night.

I'm a goin to stay where you sleep all day
Where they hung the jerk that invented work
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains


From "The More Things Change The More They Stay the Same Dept." (via wiki):

Before recording the song, McClintock cleaned it up considerably from the version he sang as a street busker in 1897. Originally the song described a child being recruited into hobo life by tales of the "big rock candy mountain". Such recruitment actually occurred, with hobos enchanting children with tales of adventure called ghost stories by other hobos. In proof of his authorship of the song, McClintock published the original words, the last stanza of which was:

The punk rolled up his big blue eyes
And said to the jocker, "Sandy,
I've hiked and hiked and wandered too,
But I ain't seen any candy.
I've hiked and hiked till my feet are sore
And I'll be damned if I hike any more
To be buggered sore like a hobo's whore
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains."

srfwotb said...

@lyssalovelyredhead

My mom is like that. Conservative and anti-tax except when it suits her. IOW, join the military for the education, get those government loans, get a government job for the benefits.

My sister went on food stamps when she was a student so she wouldn't have to have anything to do with my parents. She's not lazy and also worked.

I took $ from my family as a student, so I wouldn't have to be reliant upon the government. I also worked.

It's funny though - in hindsight, my sister may have been right - and it KILLS me to admit that. On the one hand, I had no student loans to pay off. But on the other, my parents still had legitimate input into my choices because they helped foot the bills.

My brother did it yet another way - he's older than us and went to school when it was much cheaper: no $ from anyone BUT his education got the shaft. He went to a far lower end university than his brain deserved because of cost. And he has an excellent brain. So, he was not beholden to parents or state, but screwed his potential in the process.