Friday, July 10, 2009

Blissfest and other hippie bullshit

So here I am in Northern Michigan, once again, and it's the weekend of the Bliss music and arts festival. I guess to a lot of my friends and colleagues this is a big deal. It's like Rothbury had a little baby in Good Hart, Michigan. I've gone before and I'm not sure that I'll go again. Besides, it's sort of dubbed a 'hippie' festival now and I think somehow the definition of being a hippie has changed drastically since its origin.

I guess the term hippie means basically a person who is opposed to many of the conventional standards and customs of society, especailly one who advocates extreme liberalism in sociopolitical attitudes and lifestyles. I get this. I feel like I fit pretty well into that all natural liberal attitude.

I think it can be defined in many ways - having long hair in the 1960's meant something very diffrent that in does now. Then, it was a statement against the war. As people were being drafted and sentenced to a likely death in Vietnam, it was more a trend, it isn't really a philosophy like John and Yoko made it out to be back in the counter-culture days. I guess in my mind the modern age of 'hippies' isn't much like its 60's ancestors. It's a soul and life philosophy above everything else. Choosing to support local business or music, over corporate ones. Buying organic, harvesting your own food, political activism, meditation - everything externally simple and internally rich. Instead of man v. nature, it's about the power of co-existing; hemp clothing, plant based diets, alternative medicine and so on. Seeking to live in harmony with the Earth and those around you without confrontation and conformation.

I hope that if people are going to cling to this sterotype of being a modern hippie; they do, in fact, understand the mentality that all those civil activists that started this movement lived and breathed for us to know it to this day. The biggest part, I'd say is becoming the change that one wishes to see in the world. In order to start a revolution, you've got to first be the revolutionary.

So, to those of you setting up your hammocks and hanging your tapestries this weekend, you won't see me. If Bliss really is about following your own personal 'bliss' it wouldn't be slapping a price tag on Mother Earth, music or art. At any rate, to those of you going; have fun, you dirty bare-footed hipsters.

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