Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Return of the Living Hippies

Having grown up in the Washington DC area around a lot of weirdos, gays, punk rockers, and misanthropes, many of whom have had run-ins with the FBI or DC police at one time or another, much of this Washington Post story is frankly unsurprising to me.

"A secret FBI intelligence unit helped detain a group of war protesters in a downtown Washington parking garage in April 2002 and interrogated some of them on videotape about their political and religious beliefs, newly uncovered documents and interviews show."

Yep, sounds about right. Remind me to tell you about the time a friend of mine was arrested, taken to jail, drug tested, hassled for hours, and held for some time because he had been assaulted by a stranger with a tire iron.

"For years, law enforcement authorities suggested it never happened. The FBI and D.C. police said they had no records of such an incident. And police told a federal court that no FBI agents were present when officers arrested more than 20 protesters that afternoon for trespassing; police viewed them as suspicious for milling around the parking garage entrance. But a civil lawsuit, filed by the protesters, recently unearthed D.C. police logs that confirm the FBI’s role in the incident."

Actually, the DC police would be dumb enough to misplace that file. But, suspicious, eh?

"The probable cause to arrest the protesters as they retrieved food from their parked van? They were wearing black—a color choice the FBI and police associated with anarchists, according to the police records."

Wearing black is probable cause? Clearly, Italian widows are fucked.

Anyway, John Cole at Balloon Juice "mans up" in a big way by admitting that maybe the hippies were right about that whole arbitrary government authority thing.

"I know my position on anti-war protesters a few years back- they were to be mocked, derided, ignored, out-protested, or countered with “facts” (the facts, in many cases, did not turn out to be on my side, but at least I was arguing from what I thought was an honest position). Nowhere did I even begin to imagine we would arrest people and have them interrogated by secret government units.

But the smelly dirty hippies were expecting it, and once again, this administration has proved them right."

Well, actually, they were also right about the benefits of eating healthy, the relaxing use of marijuana, protecting the environment, Vietnam, liberated women, free love for young people, and this war. As far as I can tell, hippies were basically wrong about cosmetic things- patchouli oil really does smell terrible, no white person should ever have dreadlocks, and a lot of hippie music is bloody boring. But, it's been forty years since hippies were ascendant, and maybe the Eric Cartmans of the world can now forgive them for Donovan, huh? It seems to me that, as America is coming around to the hippie point-of-view (oh, just admit it, we are!), the hippies need to simply clean themselves up.

Hippies, listen to me- my plan here is that you should all get haircuts and bathe frequently for the next decade. Sure, fatheaded authoritarians will still hate you. However, they will sound stupid complaining about "those damned clean, fresh-smelling hippies"! Or "God, this fucking coffee shop smells like spring-fresh lavender thanks to those hippies!" Your ideas are the mainstream now. Even relatives of mine who complain constantly about 'liberals' want to eat healthy, smoke pot, save the planet, end the war in Iraq, get laid, and get the government off their backs. And, hey, the hippies bitched about liberals too! So, run a stealth hippie for President! Get some hippie who looks straight and who can keep his trap shut better than Nader, have him say a bunch of reactionary horseshit about "liberals" and "immigrants", get him into office, and people probably won't notice he's a hippie until there's a Phish cover band playing on the White House front lawn, government documents are printed on hemp paper, and he begins the State of the Union address with: "First, I'd love to introduce you to my old lady, Moon Flower". Trust me on this, hippies, this is the Age of Aquarius!


The Pagan Temple said...

And here all this time I've thought patchouli incense was possibly their greatest contribution.

Rufus said...

That's what they'd like you to believe. I think the hippies should hook up with some advertising agency to remake their image. "Hippies- they're not just about patchouli oil and hacky-sack any more!"