What’s hip about hippies?

Today’s post comes courtesy of me. I’m allowed to that once in a while, it is my blog afterall. Today I’d like to write about hippies. There’s very little right about hippies (that’s a little bit of political humour for those out there not clever enough to pick it up). Some hippies are ok. I’m all for peace (most of the time), harmony (but I’d actually prefer social melody. Harmony suggests different people managing to be different while appearing to sing to the same tune. So by extension social melody must be everyone doing the same thing which I think is a much higher goal. Provided everyone does what I think is the right thing. Let me rephrase that so it sounds less arrogant… Provided everyone does what God thinks is the right thing… I’m not sure that seems less arrogant actually, I’m not claiming that my will is perfectly equal to God’s. Could this be the longest bracketed statement ever to grace the pages of my blog? Who knows.), tranquility, and protecting the environment. But I have some questions about the whole green movement.
1. Who decides which green causes should be fought for and protected – why save the whales and eat lentils – surely lentils should be protected.
2. How can hippies justify protecting trees while smoking (burning) grass (marijuana)?
3. Why do they fight big battles (ozone protection) while ignoring, or contributing to, smaller problems (bad body odour)?

I guess my stance on hippies makes me anti-green, and in an amazing coincidence it turns out my car is anti-green in colour. I created a colour completely devoid of green, and full of blue and red in paintshop, and I came up with a colour alarming similar to my mauve excel.

What really gets me is the skewed priorities hippies have towards their particular cause. Sure whales are nice, big, friendly animals – but what about the thousands of starving Japanese children who’d benefit from eating the whales brought in by all the whale-harpooning daddies out there. Think of the children. It does seem to me that the green movement has a fairly warped sense of important issues. Some may argue that there are thousands of issues out there and it’s great to have people concerned for all of them, everyone needs representation. Which would be fine if the green voice wasn’t so loud. Once upon a time, when I was a poor uni student (read that how you will – I did mean that I lacked financial stability but I make no claims to greatness as a student) I was walking on my merry way to uni when I was accosted by a well meaning hippy type who wanted me to consider supporting an obscure wild life protection group. I understand that this girl was doing her job, which is a pretty crappy job, and was probably being paid by commission. But her suggestion that I change from sponsoring a compassion child to sponsoring a panda because it was “national change charities day” proves once and for all that hippies are stupid.

This diatribe was encouraged by an article in the opinion pages of today’s Sydney Morning Herald. The article looks at the quality of life in Australia – analysing whether things are actually any better with the strong growth in the Australian economy. Apparently some things are good. Some things are bad, including an increasing tendency for families to break down (or up – funny that two opposite words mean the same thing – I guess the keyword is break. You could probably even say break sideways and people would still understand). But this isn’t the biggest issue our culture has to deal with. I guess I’d agree with that (I’d probably say the underlying issues of human selfishness and greed were bigger problems – and the issue underlying those issues is sin). There are plenty of other issues out there that could be at least as difficult as a family break up. Child abuse, murders, an alarming suicide rate… there’s plenty of problems in our society that an increase in cashflow doesn’t seem to be solving. But no. Apparently our biggest problems are land clearing, extinct bird species, salinity and greenhouse gas emissions… and that my friends is why I hate hippies.

In other non-hippy news… Tim started a blog today – its title is a delightful pun on his name. I must say I’m flattered by all the people who are starting blogs just because I have.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

13 thoughts on “What’s hip about hippies?”

  1. Thanks for the tip about Tim’s blog – I read it and I put a comment on it. I also discovered your church web-site so now I know about your new church.

  2. With the international whaling thingy on in the next few weeks, the AU Environment minister is flying all over the pacific trying to get new nations to join the council and vote against Japan going back to “commercial” whaling, and increasing the humpback quota. I don’t mind Japan & Norway eating whales, but I also don’t want to be telling my grand-kids “back in my day we had whales”.

    Maybe we could ship the hippies out to become whale farmers.

    And if you haven’t heard of the dead beached whale they tried to vaporise with half a ton of dynamite – go here and watch the video.

  3. The thing is Japan has been doing the same thing for many year and not just with whaling. They give large amounts of aid/grants to developing countries in the Pacific in the guise of ‘war compensation’ and no one bats an eyelid. However when it comes time to vote on key issues e.g. Whaling, Japan’s admission to the UN security concil these grants seem to increase or stop altogether. Australia as the only major western player in the pacific needs to show more concern for the pacific states and maybe support them for more than just looking after or refugees.

  4. Or military aid when the local security breaks down due to the poor economy/government (Solomons, Fiji, Timor).

    Unfortunately, you can’t “enforce” democracy or good governance, or you’re seen to be practicing the opposite (qv iraq). So what support that can be given diplomatically, economically or otherwise is a delicate game.

  5. Your Apostle-Paul-ish use of parentheses has finally confused even you.
    There is an opening parenthesis, and then another opening parenthesis, and then only one parenthesis. Mathematically, this doesn’t work. Every opening parenthesis has to have a close one.
    Also, to make life less confusing for those people who are not Grammar Nazis, perhaps you would consider, instead of using parentheses within parentheses, perhaps using square brackets within parentheses.
    For example:
    “My dog (whose name [which was taken from my {completely crazy} grandfather] is Chester) is a stupid dog.”
    I thought about becoming a hippie for awhile. I woulda made a darn good one too, except for my affinity for violence and weapons of mass destruction.

  6. Ummm… where?

    (but I’d actually prefer social melody. Harmony suggests different people managing to be different while appearing to sing to the same tune. So by extension social melody must be everyone doing the same thing which I think is a much higher goal. Provided everyone does what I think is the right thing. Let me rephrase that so it sounds less arrogant… Provided everyone does what God thinks is the right thing… I’m not sure that seems less arrogant actually, I’m not claiming that my will is perfectly equal to God’s. Could this be the longest bracketed statement ever to grace the pages of my blog? Who knows.)

    I can only see one pair of parenthesis. I have not edited that post either. You’re just wrong.

  7. Hmmmm. Well, Nathan, let’s start at the top…

    Your 3 questions. Not all hippies do those three things.

    The thing about starving Japanese children eating whale meat? Most of the whale harvested isn’t for eating :P

    Now from the other side of things… did some girl really suggest you change from sponsoring a child to sponsoring a panda?! Or was that your writer’s licence coming in to play there, to make a point? :P

    Oh and Nathan, you are right, and the grammar Nazi is wrong :D

  8. That was a true story.

    I have no writer’s licence – I gave that up when I sold my services to Townsville Enterprise. Now I can only speak the truth.

  9. Does this Hippy VS Humanitarian argument confuse (and/or fire up) anybody else? I mean, human life is clearly more important to God than nature/animals etc. But in saying that, God doesn’t disregard nature, instead makes us stewards of his creation, a creation that he repeatedly tells us he is proud of.

    So, like Mark hinted at, where do we draw the line?
    In all honesty, I was a bit confused with your post Tim. (Just on the side, I checked out your website and I like that you’re a tree-hugging Christian; right on bro!) Were you saying that Japan gives large monetary “war” compensation to the Pacific as a cover for “whaling support?” And then as a result of that money, does the UN increase grants or stop them?
    I’m confused…

    I’m also not so sure of your comment about Australia ‘just looking after refugees’ … I’m not sure how well Australia is doing at that is all…

    Sorry Tim, hope you don’t take offense, I guess I just get a bit fired up with this topic. I used to be a greenie prior to being introduced to refugee support, so I guess I’m working out my own boundaries too.

    What do other people think?

  10. Yeah sorry Phill I re-read my post and confused myself. What i was trying to say is that Australia need to stand up and become a leader in the Pacific. Our treatment of refugees is pathetic and I was trying to say that all it amounts to is a token effort. When PNG took the tampa refugees for processing they received a fair bit of money for maintance etc but Australia wrote this money off as overseas aid and my understanding is the same occurs elsewhere.
    Regarding Japan I was trying to say diplomaticly that yes they do pour money into the region and use it as leverage to get developing contries to vote with them. One example of this was Japan’s entrance to the UN security council: PNG was ahead of them in line but under pressure and a slight cash incentive PNG withdrew its claim to the council.
    Hope this is a bit clearer than my pasts post- hope you get it too- no offense taken- as you can probably see i get passionate about somethings as well.

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