Sunday, November 20, 2005
Warning: Generalizations will be made and stereotypes will be perpetuated.
While at the Johnny and Edgar Winter concert, there were cowboys (both real and pretend) and various other kinds of regular everyday people. By far, however, the vast majority of the crowd consisted of Old Hippies.
There are many varieties and sub-varieties of Old Hippies. Their distinguishing characteristics are chronological, economical and geographical. The age of an Old Hippie ranges from 40-ish to 60-ish. The Old Hippie will, on occasion, move from one Old Hippie economic category to another as the result of changes in their employment and/or marital status. Employment and marital status changes frequently occur congruently.
While some Old Hippies are living la vida loca as the result of enduring many years of quiet desperation at unfulfilling but well-paying occupations, the vast majority of Old Hippies still live within twenty miles of where they spent their teenage to mid-twenties glory days. They live in homes much like they grew up in and usually drive a pick-up truck or a Harley. They are less successful, economically speaking, than some of their Old Hippie peers, because they held more seasonal types of jobs (plumbing, carpentry, welding) which allowed for plenty of time off between gigs for concert-going, beach bumming, road trips and just, generally, hanging out with their buds (see definition for buds below).
The hippie state of mind is generally considered to be liberal, earth-friendly, peace loving and of the belief that everything is okay as long as no one gets hurt. In some cases, however, Old Hippie-dom is a state of delusion rather than a state of mind. Most of us Old Hippies, look at our favorite rock icons and think, "Man, that guy don't look so good," and we're horrified to realize that most of them are now Medicare age. The delusional Old Hippie, on the other hand, thinks "Man, that guy hasn't changed at all, dude. Fuckin' A! ROCK AND ROLL!!!!!!!!!!!" The delusion is the result of many years of bud: Bud-weiser and bud-reefer.
Physically, there are some Old Hippies who have weathered well but, for the most part, their skin is like leather, they have rather large beer guts (both the men and the women) and their wardrobes still consist mainly of blue jeans, t-shirts and tennis shoes or boots of some sort (both the men and the women).
Most Old Hippies dance with a heavy foot (both the men and the women) and only after they've become totally wasted. Favorite bands include , ZZ Top and Kid Rock. Old Old Hippies and Young Old Hippies tend to have similar musical tastes although some will lean more toward Grateful Dead or Phish, while others might favor Jimmy Buffet or strictly southern rock.
Geographically speaking, for a perfect example of southern Old Hippies, you need look no further than the new television series My Name is Earl and add about ten years to the ages of the characters. I can't improve on that depiction. West coast Old Hippies are still up in the Sierras hugging trees and east coast Old Hippies still haunt Greenwich Village. As for northern Old Hippies, I have no idea. My feeling is that they are probably all of the transplanted variety but I could be wrong about that.
By the way, if forced to relocate, Old Hippies from the east coast or the west coast, might take on some of the characteristics of their indigenous counterparts. However, an Old Hippie from the south is and always will be of the southern Old Hippie variety whether he still lives in Alabama or has, for some inexplicable reason, moved to Minnesota. You can take the Old Hippie out of Alabama but you can't take the Alabama out of the Old Hippie.