I was called a “hippie chick” once. Well, probably more than once but at least one time that I specifically remember. I took offence since I didn’t own a tie-dyed t-shirt or drive a Volkswagen Westfalia. Could it have been that I let my hair grow too long?? What I didn’t realize at the time was that the person who called me this term was referring to my social and political outlook on life. I should have thanked him for noticing. I was born in the year that “Hair” hit Broadway, but my parents were the furthest from being Hippies.
On the other hand, our neighbours in Calgary, Alberta were Hippies. I played with their daughter and went on outings with the family in the luxury of a Volkswagen Westfalia. One outing in particular may be responsible for my fascination and reverence for mid-century modern design … I may have been all of 5 years old. We were treated to a visit to a custom build home in the middle of ranch country. The home had lofting ceilings, sky lights and spiral stair cases… all covered in moss green shag carpet… no, not the ceiling. Giant pillows in paisley patterned fabrics, low tables and hanging lamps swagged from the lofty ceiling was all that adorned the grand main area. Despite the serenity of the country side, I could not help but notice the oil well pumps cluttering the vista from the giant windows.
The Hippy movement of the 60’s and 70’s opened up alot of alternate thinking in the youth of the time. The use of natural products such as hemp were considered illicite due to it’s relation to cannibis sativa, commonly known as marijauna… or weed. Hemp was a cash crop in the United States long before the country was even that… Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper. Growing industrial hemp in the the U.S. is illegal (although many states are moving to remove the restrictions). In Canada it is highly regulated… pardon the pun. Check out the links below for a brief history lesson on why such a useful and environmentally progressive product was made illegal. Hemp can replace the use of fossil fuels for plastics, energy, paper, concrete. Wonder why wealthy industrial tycoons with interests in forests, metals and oil used their influence to manipulate the government and the country’s population?? Henry Ford produced his Model-T car with “hemp plastic” with an engine that ran on clean burning hemp oil (Ethanol) … where is this product now?? Mr. Ford’s friends at Standard Oil (J.D. Rockefeller) and the United States Steel Corporation (Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, and Charles Schwab) were not happy with Henry’s use of products.
Hippies embraced Eastern and indigenous peoples’ philosophies, home grown foods, natural products, social reforms, holding governments to task for their actions and sharing “Truths” amongst those who will listen and those curious to learn. Was there a dark age of knowledge that all that is good for us was burried? With the aid of the internet and those who wish to expose that which is wrong in the world, the information that has been hidden from us for hundreds of years is finally being revealed. Well, it’s probably been out there all along but we just weren’t programmed to hear it. Remember the X-Files?? The Truth is Out There.
There is a growing interest and a resurgence in the philosophies and political views of the Hippie movement. How can our future be anything but bleak with the continuation of a system that propagates unwellness for our air, water, food, animals and ourselves by pushing plastics, pollution and politics that create wars, famines and plagues? Hemp, the carbon negative resource of the past has the potential to replace the poisons of our current economic and political systems. I’ll get off my soap-box now… back to the mat!!