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Debris of Utopia: The Death of the Hippie Mentality (1 Viewer)

Sock

Senior Member
My mother and my father never quite liked each other all that much. This was alright with me when I was younger, they didn't fight so much so it was pretty easy to ignore. As I grew a bit older and began to understand the ideals behind procreation it amazed me that I was alive. Surly if my parents weren't always this way, they would never even get close to having sex. I was especially amazed by my creation because I am the youngest in my family and my parents did this at least TWO times before that... This was all too much.

So what was it? Where was the spark and what happened to it? Upon further investigation I found the grim reality of not only my parents marriage, but the inevitable time line of their lives and their unfortunate generation.

My parents were born in 1945. In 1965, they were 20. My father was in a band entitled "The Loop Group" and my mother was an artist, majoring in, appropriately enough, Art. When I gathered this information together so neatly I was flabbergasted by sheer surprise. How do these people sound so cool on paper? Why couldn't I be around then?

"Your mother," my aunt explained, "Was a wild one. Look at any stock footage of 'hippies' dancing around in circles at Woodstock and that was your mom." To which I replied, "My mom was a hippie?"

"Are you kidding? You're mom and dad both. In fact, one time mom found out that she had taken LSD and smoked pot. She was so furious that she didn't talk to her for weeks. Your mother didn't seem to mind."

LSD? My mom? What happened? My mother and grandmother seemed to be good friends before she passed away, there didn't really seem to be many secrets or privacy between one and other.

When I was twelve years old my aunt (my fathers sister) committed suicide. After this, my father (a white collar, straight, reserved man) began drinking heavily. This didn't make sense to me. Before all of this he was drinking .5% on Sunday nights... this wasn't fitting together. He continued drinking well into my teens, by which point I had found out that my father had a history of drinking problems that I didn't know about. When my brother was a baby, and when my mother and father first got married.

I look at my parents now: An engineer and an English teacher. Their faces always locked in a saggy, monotone, glaze stare. Mouths shut, respectively, well dressed and groomed. What the fuck happened?

In the 1980's everything began to fall apart. The hippie movement was officially dead, and my father and mother were forced to pick up and move on. No more loop group, no more LSD or art. This is when my father started drinking heavily for the first time. The hippie, artisan, drug culture they had loved so much had abandoned them. It had lied and robbed them. They were promised happiness, peace and a life of love. But most importantly: youth. This was the major flaw of the 60's youth and maybe all youth for all I know: the idea that we are young forever. This hit them hard, and they never really quite recovered. They had lost the ignorance that allowed them to believe they would one day change the world. They had lost the hipness, the political aggression. They had lost all emotion. And so, they avoided painful situations so that they would not need to feel emotions anymore. My parents, as well as millions of other people living in America in the middle sixties were casualties in a war that they created against themselves. The hippie movement was not evil, it was beautiful. The problem arises when you believe that it can be sustained for ever.

So I am left to ask myself this: Is it better to live embracing your own importance until you realize it never existed, or to realize that you will one day be like your parents and dread it your entire life?
 

quignov

Member
Hi Sock,

It sounds as if your parents either were "fake" when hippies, or "fake" when adults. Is this the case? or is the case really that they transformed, as is the norm in life, into different creatures of habit as they grew? Most people seem to hold on to a tiny bit of what they once were, yet allowing themselves to grow. Is there not a bit of their "hippy-dom" that they held on to? The alcohol, in my opinion, does not count here. I am talking of their personalities. So, if they lost all that they had...the political activism and ideas for change, what happened? I would love to see this developed more and added to the writing. I did, however, really enjoy it and like it. Thank you very much.

-Quignov
 

americanwriter

Senior Member
Say what?

Say what? That's the real question here. What are you really trying to say? I couldn't follow your idea through. It doesn't flow easily. There's a discernable lack of structure, the dialog is confusing and feels out of place, the profanity detracts from your work, watch out for run-on sentences, and please review the rules of spelling, punctuation, and grammar. The hippie counterculture may be dead but the fundamental rules of writing are not. That being said . . .

You have a couple of great essay topics here, but both are too broad for this length of essay. Pick one. You begin talking about your parents' relationship and end up talking about their '60s experiences, but the link between the problems they have now and the ideals they held then is weak. Pare down your sentences and beware of tense changes.

I would like to see what you can do with your essay after editing. Perhaps repost?
 

Sock

Senior Member
I wrote this spontaneously quite late last night, it was nothing formal but I really appreciate the feed back. I understand very much that the ideals of the counter culture are not dead, I stand by and support everything that they stood for, I think that is my duty as a young adult. But, I guess what I was trying to say was, people died a little bit as they got older and got into white collar jobs and "sold out". And after they did this they realized they were no longer the people they thought they were, and lost all hope and care for life.

It is very misdirected I know. And I am sorry for the profanity and run on sentences. I think these qualities come from me writing this very... off the top of my head, and that’s just the way I talk.

It sounds as if your parents either were "fake" when hippies, or "fake" when adults. Is this the case? or is the case really that they transformed, as is the norm in life, into different creatures of habit as they grew? Most people seem to hold on to a tiny bit of what they once were, yet allowing themselves to grow. Is there not a bit of their "hippy-dom" that they held on to?

Well your guess is as good as mine, which was one of the points of this: There is a lot of mystery and lack of communication between parents and their children, especially concerning their pasts. I was trying to uncover my parents pasts and almost did, but there sill lurches so many questions.

It is very muddled, and pretty rant-like. I just was thinking about that and wanted to write about what I was thinking… I think I could strip a lot out of this and maybe implement them in short stories or something.
 
E

Edgewise

I for one liked this. The whole piece/essay/what-have-you really kept my interest throughout, and ended with a very good question. My answer would be that the minute you give up on your dreams, you are dead already. But that could just be the youth talking. ;)

Best.
 
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