28 April 2014
Punks, goths, metallers, soul sisters, hippies; there was a time when the young generation made it clear what tribe and music they were into by the way they dressed, but not anymore. The young subculture today has different definitions of these new young cultures, because of our society, rather than actually knowing who these people truly are. Call them freaks, the underground, the counter-culture, flower children, or hippies—they were all raised under the ideological system that came out of the mid‒1960’s and arose in Northern America and Western Europe. A hippie is a person who possess a core belief set revolving around the values of peace and love as being essential in an increasing globalized society, that are often associated with non-violent antigovernmental groups. Hippies created their own communities, listened to popular music, embraced the sexual revolution, and used some drugs such as cannabis, LSD, and psychedelic mushrooms to explore altered states of consciousness.
The beginnings were small, growing from the Beat Generation of the 1950’s. The Beats of the 50’s espoused a Bohemian lifestyle centered on poetry, literature and jazz music. The Beat Generation is a perfect example of the literary response in fiction to the spiritual discomfort that grew from dark cold war realities affecting artists and intellectuals immediately after the Second World War, a response that reached its fullest expression in the counterculture of the 1960’s. The counterculture was a romantic social movement of the late 1960s and early 1970’s, mainly populated by teenagers and persons in their early twenties who through their flamboyant lifestyle expressed their alienation from mainstream American life. The writings of Beat Generation poets Gary Snyder and Michael McClure, both based in or near San Francisco, appeared in the underground press and become popular authors of their books. Scientists and activists also helped change people’s consciousness, such as Gregory Bateson and Allen Ginsberg. These men were three of the thousands of communal movements and colonies. The hippies, for their parts, were not always students of the communal history, and in any event many believed, that ‘the hippie development’ is of a brand new order, wherein the past, was irrelevant. Intentional communities that were created by hippies was a vision that has had a long and honorable history in human culture. The best known communes were the hippie’s communes, the countercultural encampments that proposed their collective noses at conventional American society and was a way to bring the hippies closer together—closer to social freedom.
Rock and roll was as integral to the counterculture as dope and sex. Rock swayed a generation both physically and emotionally. The hippies lived and breathed popular music, but believed that rock was the most important new musical form to come along in centuries. The underground press during the flowering of hip focused overwhelmingly on rock, but folk music was also important to the counterculture musical scene. Folk was the music of cultural rebellion until around mid‒60’s when the Beatles began to take on mythic significance as interpreters of a new culture, and the music became a phenomenon and hip rock bands began to appear, such as the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan incorporated rock into his previously folk music. Earlier folk music continued to play on hippie stereos, even though the counterculture had little sense of history, so many hippies undoubtedly were not concerned with the folk roots of their music. But certainly the folk revival of the 1950’s and early 1960’s cultivated the ground for the arrival of rock. Dope usually involved inward experiences; liberated sex in most cases involved interpersonal relationships on a one-to-one basis. Rock and Roll, however, was communal, and thus it provided a medium for cultural communication....
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