The Way of the Hippy

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Autor: Chlapec studak
Typ práce: Referát
Dátum: 07.02.2014
Jazyk: Angličtina
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The Way of the Hippy
2.1 The Way of the Hippy
What’s a hippie?

To answer this question, let’s see what defines a hippie. Some say it’s the way people dress, and behave, a lifestyle. Others classify drug users and rock 'n' roll fans or those with certain radical political views as hippies. The dictionary defines a hippie as one who doesn’t conform to society’s standards and advocates a liberal attitude and lifestyle. Can all these definitions be right? 

My view is that being a hippie is a matter of accepting a universal belief system that transcends the social, political, and moral norms of any established structure, be it a class, church, or government. Each of these powerful institutions has it’s own agenda for controlling, even enslaving people. Each has to defend itself when threatened by real or imagined enemies. So we see though history a parade of endless conflicts with country vs. country, religion vs. religion, class vs. class. After millennia of war and strife, in which uncounted millions have suffered, we have yet to rise above our petty differences. 

Hippies don’t impose their beliefs on others. Instead, hippies seek to change the world through reason and by living what they believe. To be a hippie you must believe in peace as the way to resolve differences among peoples, ideologies and religions. The way to peace is through love and tolerance. Loving means accepting others as they are, giving them freedom to express themselves and not judging them based on appearances. This is the core of the hippie philosophy. 

So being a hippie is not a matter of dress, behavior, economic status, or social milieu. It is a philosophical approach to life that emphasizes freedom, peace, love and a respect for others and the earth. The way of the hippie never died. There have always been hippies from the first time society laid down rules, to Jesus, to Henry David Thoreau, to John Lennon, to you and me. We believe there’s a little hippy in all of us. It’s just been repressed by our socialization process. We need to find it and cultivate our hippie within. Only then can we reach our true potential.

2.2 Hippy Philosophy and the Hippy Dream
So what do hippies want anyway? It's easy to criticize the existing system, but just what do hippies have to replace it. But someone likes to think that hippies are bringing a message to humanity. An urgent message. We need to change. Now! 
We all want to change the world. 
The Beatles (Revolution)

That's the first step. Let's preserve what we have before greedy individuals and corporations gobble it up. Hippies want to reclaim their right to a healthy life and a healthy planet. We are all infected to some degree with a disease that requires us to consume way more than we need to survive. If all this greed had some noble purpose, perhaps it could be justified, but unfortunately it has become an end unto itself. Of course we all know that a perfect planet is unrealistic. People come to this planet to work out their Karma. Human beings must live and learn by their mistakes. But we need to see examples of how to live in peace and harmony before we can change ourselves. Christ and Buddha were two such examples, and look at how many lives they influenced. This is hippies´s dream. To live in harmony with each other and our planet. How close we come to achieving it depends upon each person's willingness to change themselves. May we all see the light
2.3 Hippy activism
At the start of the 1960s, civil rights was the issue of the day.   Civil rights and anti-nuclear protests often included marches, sit-ins, speeches and songs by famous people, signs with slogans, and chants. These protests were always marked by peaceful intent. If things got ugly it was usually due to police tactics or violent counter demonstrations. The SDS, Students for a Democratic Society, got its feet wet in these early demonstrations. They would later organize anti-war campus protests around the country. 
All we are saying is give peace a chance   John Lennon (Give Peace a Chance)

2.4 Landmark Hippy Events
This chapter reviews some of the major events of the hippie movement. These events defined the nature, objectives and results of their counter-cultural assault on the establishment. Anyone who participated in these events shared at least some of the hippy beliefs, and should consider themselves a part of history.

2.4.1 The Summer of Love: San Francisco, 1967

If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear a flower in your hair.
John Phillips/Scott McKenzie (If You're Going to San Francisco)
San Francisco has always had a different attitude marked by tolerance. During the late 1950s and early '60s, it was a bohemian hangout. Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and other writers, artists and musicians lived and partied hard in places like North Beach and across the bay in Berkeley. In 1964, the University of California in Berkeley was home to the Free Speech Movement. So it was the perfect setting for a revolution in style, attitude, and consciousness.

Things really started to develop when Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters held Acid Tests in the area in 1965. These parties where Electric Kool-Aid (spiked with LSD), psychedelic music by the likes of the Grateful Dead, and the first light shows appeared, was the spark that lit a thousand candles. Those candles lit many more at events like The 1966 Trips Festival which added guerrilla theater, mime performance, and body paint to the psychedelic ritual.  By 1967, things were really coming together, the music, the drugs, and of course thousands of beautiful people. That year started with the "Gathering of the Tribes, the first Human Be-In". Businessmen in the Haight began to realize that there was something going on in the city that was attracting thousands of young people. They decided to actively promote the upcoming summer as "The Summer of Love" to give business a push. 

San Francisco is one of the most magnificent cities in the world. Golden Gate Park is the cultural heart and gathering place. Just off the park's Panhandle, lies the Haight district. What a scene it was in 1967, with fabulous psychedelic music, light shows, free flowing drugs, new fashions, and young people everywhere. Haight-Ashbury tried to accommodate the influx and developed according to the needs of these cultural pioneers. Many of these hippies were runaways, and usually broke. Free clinics, free food (thanks to the Diggers), free clothes and crash pads all helped what was an overwhelming situation. Since the vibe was loving and sharing, you can add free sex and drugs into the mix. But the hype went too far. They started doing Greyhound tours of the Haight. Small town straights looked out of the bus windows upon something so alien, it was like visiting a colorful, cosmic zoo, complete with running commentary. The media played it up, and the kids came in droves to be a part of the scene. 

On June 16th, the Monterey Pop Festival drew national attention by showcasing the San Francisco sound with groups like the Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and the Jefferson Airplane. Both Janis & Jimi were relatively unknown until their legendary performances at Monterey. On June 21st the hippies held a Summer Solstice party in Golden Gate Park. By June 25, the day the Beatles debuted the song, "All You Need Is Love" on T.V., 100,000 flower children were gathered in the Haight-Ashbury area living it. On July 1st, the Beatles LSD inspired Sgt. Pepper album hit # 1. On July 7th, Time Magazine's cover story was "The Hippies: The Philosophy of a Subculture". On August 7th, George Harrison paid the Haight a visit with his wife, Patti. On Aug 26th, Jimi Hendrix's "Are You Experienced?" hit the charts. Surely something cosmic was happening. (Please read the chapter "The Astrology of the Hippy Movement" for a possible explanation of the forces at work during the summer of 1967). 

The Haight at its peak was the center of an LSD fueled revolution in consciousness, music, art, fashion and lifestyle. The novel experiments that were tried during these years were not failures. They opened doors through which we discovered our true selves and our common humanity. Sure there were bad trips, rip-offs, diseases, run-ins with authority, but these were isolated incidents and a small price to pay for being part of a revolution.
Within a few years, the media attention moved away, and so did many of the hippies. Some went back home, some moved to communes around the state, some traveled to other hippy havens. There was a gradual decline in the Haight Ashbury area, but today it's come back somewhat and now it's a nostalgic tourist attraction and once again a hippy mecca.

2.4.2 Woodstock 1969
Possibly the most defining moment of the Hippy Movement was the Woodstock Music Festival, held on Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, New York on Aug 16, 17 & 18, 1969. Despite organizational problems and major hassles, it lived up to its billing of "Three Days of Peace and Music".
This event marked the peak of the flower power/hippie movement. Prior to Woodstock, there had never been a concert with 70,000 people, much less 500,000. Originally planned to accommodate about 100,000 people, organizers did their best to deal with the growing horde. 
But it was the horde itself, along with a few groups like the Hog Farm and the Merry Pranksters who kept things under control. There were few if any policemen on the site, and surprisingly they weren't needed! There was no violence either at the festival or in the surrounding communities. No burglaries either. The worse crime seemed to be trespassing which most people did to get to and from the site.
We all sang the songs of peace 
Melanie (Lay Down)

The big attraction of course, was an outstanding music event. On the bill were Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Janis Joplin, The Jefferson Airplane, Crosby Stills & Nash (in their second public performance), The Grateful Dead, Santana, Joe Cocker, Ravi Shankar, Richie Havens, Creedence Clearwater Revival and many more popular musicians of the day.
We must be in Heaven!

Wavy Gravy
The flower children didn't let the heat, rain and mud dampen their enthusiasm. Like the organizers, they too were unprepared. Some had to walk 20 miles to get to the site since the N.Y. Thruway was closed. Many didn't bring enough food or drink for three days, and it was nearly impossible for trucks to get to the site to resupply the vendors. To get through, they shared everything, their food, their drink, their drugs, their shelters, even their clothes. They stuck it out, got off on drugs and each other, grooved to some of the best music ever, got lost in space, and found themselves part of a magical moment in the history of a movement.

Woodstock, like the sixties themselves can never be repeated again. Attempts to capture the spirit and feeling fall short, leaving us to wonder just what was it about this event, and the people involved that made it so special. 
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