Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Goddamn Hippies!

There was a time when I kind of liked the hippie counter-culture: Standing up for people's rights, rebelling against rigid structures and crazed, inflexible government. Nowadays, however, there's no shortage of people who have inherited all the negatives of the culture and none of the positives.

They use "arguments" that normal people would expect from drug-addled minds. They think that reality is subjective to the point of solipsism. They think science is just another "narrative" and has no value as a means of ascertaining the truth. They think words are more real than the things they describe.

I remember an episode of South Park where Stan temporarily joins some hippies at a concert where they talk about overturning the bad elements of society. They spend the whole time lazing about, just listening to the music and partying. Stan gets on stage and simply asks the crowd, "What are we doing?" followed by his disillusionment when the crowd seems to think that partying harder is the most productive means of getting "positive energy" or some such nonsense out. It probably didn't help that one of them was a "college-educated hippie" category who didn't seem to understand that a collection of people that trades services for mutual benefit is called a "town." He then proceeded to say that they don't understand his lofty thoughts because they haven't been to college, yet.

That's the sort of image I get nowadays when I think "hippie": An ineffectual lot with unearned arrogance, a de facto force for the status quo, utterly divorced from any sort of real world logic.


William said...

They think that reality is subjective to the point of solipsism. They think science is just another "narrative" and has no value as a means of ascertaining the truth. They think words are more real than the things they describe.

That sounds more like postmodernists than hippies.

Bronze Dog said...

The two are pretty intertwined in my experience.

Dark Jaguar said...

I must admit that my limited experience with hippies is pretty much exactly that. Earthbound had random crazed hippy attacks, and it was just plain hilarious, especially the funny "attacks" they threw out. Come to think of it, I think South Park "bit Earthbound's style".

The other aspect of the hippies I run into are "enviro-hippies" and, most commonly around where I live, the "health-hippies".

The "enviro-hippy" loves the Earth, but doesn't know a thing about it. The most annoying part of these guys is they AGREE with scientific concensus in terms of THAT we are hurting the environment, and they have a few actual scientific facts about how we are doing it, but it gets mixed into all sorts of nonsense, ranging from poorly gathered information on certain materials (the obsession with how hemp totally solves everything) to overstating a case against nuclear power, to non-inventions like "a car that runs on WATER man" right up to insane conspiracy theories "the corporations destroyed the car that runs on water man" and "vibrations" and the Gaia-hypothesis styled notions of "living in harmony so nature will just fix everything". There's so much to kinda sorta agree with a little mixed in with really bad reasoning, presumptions, their clouding ideologies in there, and total nonsense. As though just "returning to nature" means the earth will protect us, as though evolutionary dead ends aren't possible.

The health hippy agrees with science only in so far as many people don't eat healthy, but then they go on and on about the "perfect" diet and can't go a single sentence about what they are eating that doesn't include words like "all natural", "organic" or "chemical free". Toxins, and all that other already covered doggeral, are very common. The problem is that these are "holy words" to them, which is my way of saying that THEIR definition is the ONLY one they will accept, and trying to even come to a common definition of WORKING TERMS before I can even START a debate gets no where. I can sit and point out that "natural" doesn't mean "healthy with direct examples like the sun being a massive nuclear explosion, naturally occuring uranium, animal venom, and all sorts of other natural things that will still kill you, and while they acknowledge that, in my experience it's as though I just told a joke. They laugh and say "but seriously, natural is better". I just DEMOLISHED YOUR ARGUMENT by example, that's not just a comedy routine, it's a challenge.

Yeah, my experience with hippies isn't a positive one.

Also, the "sign my petition" hippy... Those never get anywhere. Ever asked one of these guys what exactly they intend to DO with said petition? Who said they should start gathering signatures in the first place? You can't just send a big list of signatures to some random politician and say "so make change". Someone's got to be LOOKING for that sort of thing to start with. Heck lately they don't even go that far, they'll "put it online on their web site for the world to see". Um, the world isn't going to see that. Your friend list is probably the extent of it unless you're really famous online.

Unknown said...

Hey BD! My little sister engages in this solipsistic point of view that denegrates to "well, I agree with you that science works, therefore my point about drugs waking up the mind is true".

Ever do a doggrel akin to "Science works so I am right"?

Dark Jaguar said...

Oh, drug worship. There's another one. I've said my piece on this one. I think it's someone's own business if they want to take drugs (FDA oversight making sure all the dangers are clearly established and the doses are clearly monitered), but that said, I still would never do such to myself.

What annoys me is that, yes, drugs, along with all sorts of other stimuli, can completely change the nature of the brain, it's functioning, and one's entire perception can be changed in completely unimaginable ways. HOWEVER, that is a far cry from saying drugs "awaken you to alternate realities" or "allow one to truly get to know one's TRUE self" and all sorts of other new age rambling. The brain has been finelly tuned over millions of years to interact with it's various component parts in very specific and highly calibrated ways. Tossing in random chemicals and calling the resulting chaos an epiphany seems about as foolish as diving into a computer and pulling out and installing all sorts of questionable crapware and calling the result an amazing paradigm shift in computer design.

I'm all for willing test subjects under controlled experiments undergoing this to uncover the inner workings of our brains, but that's a far cry from "unlocking your true self".

Dark Jaguar said...

I thought I'd clarify one more thing. This is not a criticism of medical drugs prescribed by doctors. Often I hear the rhetoric that "it's all the same thing maaan", but there is a clear difference. The doctor's prescription drugs are, at their root, not far removed from the "recreational" variety, except in terms of the fact it's prescribed. That makes all the difference. Someone tossing a random chemical in them "just to see what happens" is in no way the same as a doctor, after a careful examination of your condition, prescribing a precise dosage of a chemical that's been thoroughly tested to the point a doctor can reliably know what sort of effect it will have on the patient. To compare them and argue there is no difference is simply out of ignorance. Just because I might take a drug prescribed to me to assist in my ability to stay on-task or to aid in motivation does not mean that I must therefor start toking up a joint of my own uneducated volition because some guy with greasy hair says it'll totally expand my mind.

Anonymous said...

Oh, drug worship. There's another one. I've said my piece on this one. I think it's someone's own business if they want to take drugs (FDA oversight making sure all the dangers are clearly established and the doses are clearly monitered), but that said, I still would never do such to myself.

I just wanted to correct you (or inform you rather, and hopefully you change your mind knowing the facts) about the "FDA" reasons and cause for drug tests.

Drugs, as in Cocaine, LCD and so on, is not illegal because the "Big Man" wants to prevent your happiness, it is because of Safety, primarly the Society, secondarly, the individual.

If you say, as you just did, that it is your own responsibility, Fine, but the Prime reason is not your safety, but the SOCIETY!!!

If you take Cocaine and jump into your car, are you resonsible, or you gona blame the drugs? Would iot have happened if you did not have access to Cocaine?

And so on, that is the simplest way I can explain it to you, It is to prevent harm in the SOCIETY, therefore it is illegal. Same reason we are not allowed to put up fires anywhere you want, Safety.

Maybe you do understand this, but your post indicated that you did not, with the first sentence "I think it's someone's own business if they want to take drugs" showing you do not understand the underlying issue at hand.

Learning is fun. :)

Dark Jaguar said...

Yeah I'm aware of it, I'm basically throwing a bone out to make sure the focus stays on what I was actually talking about. I have failed.

Reality is, I do kinda switch back and forth between opinions on this. I don't drink myself and see that there's plenty of society styled harm that alcohol can do, but then I think that maybe those who can't handle it shouldn't be hurting the people who know how to control themselves and act responsibly. I'd even put the damage alchohol does way above what pot does. Cocaine, now that stuff's hard core. In all cases, I don't want anyone high on anything driving on the streets. I'm not sure if someone hopped up on cocaine would have the presence of mind to NOT drive while high on it mind you, so there may be a point there. Further, I do not consider "under the influence" an excuse for any crime someone commits. I say that unless they got the drugs forced into them, they are responsible for whatever they do when they decide to get themselves high.

All that said, there's also the issue of how effective any of these laws actually are.

djfav said...

Yeah, good job making alcohol illegal. Way to go.

Dark Jaguar said...

Oh and for the record, I never once thought that drugs were made illegal just for the sake of control. I was already well aware that it was done out of fear of the consequences. As my post would make clear, I don't do drugs and consider it stupid to get involved with them.

djfav said...

My previous comment was directed at Gabe. Sorry about the combo breaker.

Anonymous said...

Dark, I agree completely, I used the "Cocaine" remark as an extreme example to make the point.

And just as (the psycho) djfav points out, its not 100%. Alcohol is currently legal and causes innocent deaths (ignoring harm to the individual using it) of the millions.

But WE, the people, have agreed to keep alcohol, WE are responsible for it, and we decided that LCD and Opium is not okay, but Drinking Vodka is. This is the society we created, I certainly do not agree with it.

Smoking is also a obvious example of harm towards Others with second hand smoke which Smokers and the Industry still deny even with all the evidence.

On a more positive notes, our drug laws seem rather "functional" if we speak of Alcohol laws in. Deaths caused by drinking driving versus, say, Other driving is minimal, and I think this is generally caused by the fact that We decided to allowe this and we only have EXCEPTIONS, such as alcoholics and less then "good" people breaking the laws, with some normal people doing it for various causes.

Anyway, the problem is OTHERS are harmed. I wouldn't care, nor would you I doubt, if X destroys his liver by drinking or Y jumps into the river and drowns because he is drunk. But that is not what I, and I think not You(?) mean, but the fact of X HARMING SOMEONE ELSE and the SOCIETY they live in, such as Cost of medical care instead of helping a sick child, the price needs to come from somewhere. Waste of human life is the price we pay for it.

djfav said...

My point was that prohibition doesn't fucking work, hypocrite.

djfav said...

"But WE, the people, have agreed...I certainly do not agree with it."

Really, WTF?

djfav said...

And yes, Gabe, you're right. Our drug laws are "functional". I like the scare quotes you put around that.

djfav said...

Wait, are you saying there are fewer deaths when drinking is involved than other drugs?

djfav said...

For the record, I'm addicted to caffeine and nicotine. If only someone would make coffee and cigarettes illegal...

MWchase said...

Woo... banning non-decaf coffee. I'd like to see that. On television. In a bunker. In Europe.

Anonymous said...

Funny mentioning Europe in that, lived there I know that "they" live longer, healthier and safer lifes then us.

But perhaps that is not important?

MWchase said...

You're falling below conspiracy theorist standards of argument. Usually, with conspiracy theorists, it's clear what they're trying to insinuate.

I mean, I'm guessing it's a "black people" thing, but now I'm expecting you to try to jump down my throat for suggesting that. If you do, you'll be misjudging the jump, and end up with your foot in your mouth.

Dark Jaguar said...

"They"? Why do you keep putting that in quotes? Is being referred to in the 3rd person insulting?

Way to completely ignore everything we've said. Look, we already have a perfectly valid explanation for why some European countries have longer on-average life spans, and that's due to superior health care. It has nothing to do with genes. African people given the same background conditions would ALSO live much longer, and I'd wager they would live exactly the same quality and length of lives, on average.

No one here is arguing that some countries don't have better life spans than others. We're arguing that the explanation of "race" is completely unfounded when we have such an incredibly strong corrolation between longer life spans and better health care availability. If you want to say it's race, you have to control for health care and take that out of the equation.

You have not done that. Intead all you do is pretend we're arguing something we aren't.

Bronze Dog said...

Gabe's been ignoring all our common sense explanations for that since we started. That chronic behavior leads me believe that Gabe thinks doctors and schools have absolutely zero impact on people, and that anyone should be able to transform into a Ayn Randian superhuman and bootstrap themselves up to health and education without access to any such resources.

Don said...

Back to the topic at hand, I recommend Patton Oswalt's album "Feelin' Kinda Patton," specifically track 16 entitled "I Hate Hippies." It contains the line "Everytime you eat a steak, a hippie's hackeysack goes into a gutter."

Even more fun is a bit from his special "No Reason To Complain" where he describes hippies and their lame-ass symbolic protests: "Hey, man, let's knit the world's tiniest pair of hemp pants and we'll put 'em on a mouse and then we'll put the mouse inside a cupboard. But which cupboard is it, man? They won't know, and they'll be so busy trying to figure it out they won't have time for war!"

Oh, hippies, how I hate you.

Dunc said...

Hey! I'm a hippy! Got a fucking problem with that?

Yes, there are a lot of idiots out there who are also hippies - same goes for any other demographic, since, let's face it, most people are idiots, therefore most people in any given demographic you care to name (other than "non-idiots") are also idiots.

There are also many who have co-opted various bits of hippydom for their own stupid ends - but do you complain about quantum physicists when Deepak Chopra abuses their ideas? No, of course not. So why all the hippy-hate?

Chill the fuck out, man.