I have always chosen to surround myself with hippies. My degree is from University of Colorado at Boulder where I watched the dreadlocked warlocks smoke marijuana on the school property. From there, I moved to Crested Butte, Colorado where there are pagan fetes and tie dye clothing and fire dancing are social norms.
Am I a hippie? Do I rub incense together to build fires? And tattoo Eastern gods to my abdomen? Do I listen to hippie music and dance to the beat of bongos and fairies?
Nope. I never really have understood hippie dynamics and I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it.
Then the apex of hippydom was brought to my attention once again- Burning Man. Someone I work with showed me the live feed of the funeral pyre for The Man in Black Rock Desert, Nevada.
Apparently 50,000 numnucks attend this event, each paying around $400 for camping spots to do drugs at. There is no purchasing of items, just bartering. One peacenik will trade another peacenik some LSD for a crystal lanyard. A lot of peer pressure surrounds the “leaving no trace” after the effigy is burned to the ground. I guess it is nice that hippies clean up after themselves.
I can’t even begin to think of a worse place to go to. Being immersed in the sweat of 50,000 hippies, the sun beating down on me and drugs fumes in the air are hardly appealing to someone of my caliber.
But then I thought about it some more. And what strikes me as strange is the bravado the nonconformists engage in while burning down The Man. As the ashes fall to hoots and hollers and the bell jingle from hippie slippers, all celebrate defying convention and bureaucracy. The Man and his stupid rules and values. The Man hates fun.
But see, this burning of THE MAN, is reminiscent of some other fun times of burning things in our nation’s past- the burning of witches. Go on back to the Salem Witch Trials. See, I think these very hippies, these weirdos, these soothsayers and voodooers, would be the very ones we would be burning at the stake. You would think they would be against the whole lighting people on fire with all their talk about peace and love and happiness.