A rebuttal to my own rant.
As promised, here is my rebuttal to my own post.
I would like to address certain points made by myself in the controversial blog post,
Why I dislike hippies (a rant)
First, I would like to address the use of the term “hippie”.
According to the dictionary that came with my computer, a hippie is defined as:
“A person of unconventional appearance, typically having long hair and wearing beads, associated with a subculture involving a rejection of conventional values and the taking of hallucinogenic drugs.”
By this definition, one could define both my husband and myself as hippies.
The author does not make a clear enough definition of what a hippie is. Instead she assumes that the reader shares her definition of a hippie as a bleeding heart, new-age, namby-pamby vegetarian, who thinks that social change can still be made through marches and protests, and that patchouli is an acceptable deodorant.
With this sweeping generalisation, the author fails to acknowledge adequately the broad spectrum of hippiedom, from the bohemian artist making her own clothes in a crummy, overpriced Haight Street apartment, to the burnt out executive in Silicon Valley who still wears an earring and smokes a joint when he gets home from the office. In fact, being a hippie does not preclude one from being a reasonable, scientifically minded, humble person.
The first point made by the clearly emotional author, is that “hippies…take themselves too seriously.” The author fails to provide an example or any evidence to support this claim. Again, she assumes the reader has shared her experience of being at a party and having a very bohemian vegan explain why the video for the song “Milkshake” is offensive. She goes on to explain why humor is important. This is irrelevant to her point about hippies.
Next, the author gives general examples of hippies she has encountered, but fails to provide more specific experiences. Instead, she speaks as if her vast experience gives her some special insight. There is no reason given for the revelation of this information and the paragraph just seems out of place.
The second clear point is that “Hippies think they are better than everyone else.” Why does the author think this? She does not give examples of this being the case. Perhaps if she described the actions of so-called “eco-terrorist” groups like PETA or even an anecdote about someone pushing alternative medicine on her it would be more clear. She goes on to state that certain -isms are “valid points of view” when it is clear that she does not believe that hippies’ points of view are valid. The only clear statement is the one about hippies getting all of their information from other hippies. Even then, this does little to support the point being made and in fact makes the author seem to think herself superior.
She follows this bit with an anecdote about her friend, Miss G. While this is fair example of going too far with hippie propaganda, it is not a problem unique to hippies. The same is often true of children raised by strict Christian fundamentalist parents, or children raised in any extreme situation. The point she makes is weak and is not stated until the end of the paragraph.
Finally, there is a truculent statement about “stupid people.” Since the author did very little to show evidence that hippies are “stupid” it is hard to support her in this last bit of vitriol.
In conclusion, I could write a much better rant than this. When I wrote this, it was early in my development as a skeptic. I had just watched several episodes of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit and was listening to Penn’s radio show a lot. I had just discovered skepticism and was feeling betrayed by a whole subculture of people who I felt were “stupid” for believing things that I newly thought to be foolish. I no longer hold this belief. I am now aware that smart people very often believe dumb things. While I am not nearly as angry as I was then, I admit I still generally dislike hippies. Even if, technically, I am one.