Monday, April 18, 2005

The Convergence of the Hippie & the Redneck

The long-hairs in the small town of my childhood were often indeed alarming - particularly the young men. And it wasn't because they threatened the status-quo with a "Peace & Love, Everything Is Groovy" mindset; they threatened it with psychotic, self-gratifying thuggery. In my youngest years, my impression of hippies was closely aligned to their portrait in the original "Dirty Harry" movie, a concept that took years to mature into something a tad more forgiving.

I've spent a great deal of time mulling over this generation that preceeded me, and had forgotten just what frightening spectres they once were. It all came back to me when I read this Reason piece by editor Jesse Walker, about the merging of the Hippie and the Redneck. In our town it wasn't at all uncommon for young male "backsliders" from the Mennonite faith to be violent drunkards, with a fondness for wacky-tabacky. What was new was the hair. Freaky, man.

Link from ALD.

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