I have now seen a curious sign twice in my neighborhood. I am not sure if the first one I saw is still up, but I pass the second one every day that I walk to get a bike to get a car to go to work. The sign is posted near the front door of a modest, nondescript, single story home and says "Hippies use side door."
As best I can tell this sign is meant to be humorously disparaging of hippies, and holds within it echoes of traditional hippie putdowns like "Dirty Hippies". At least, that's the one these signs make me think of.
I am not surprised by the hippie animosity in these signs. Hippie bashing followed fast on the heels of the hippies first cultural appearances and I have had opportunity enough to see it in my life, but there are two very strange things to me about these signs.
The first is that if there were any hippies left they would actually be in my neighborhood. I live in the most modest, humbly and sweetly unadorned middle class, fiercely leftist, innocent, pro hippie neighborhood in the entire Nation. In any election Greens will receive more votes from my neighborhood than Republicans. The sounds of middle aged men playing electric guitars rises from the basements, at least, when they are not in flood. If my state had the simple sense to legalize marijuana (which I suppose 95% of my neighborhood would vote for) I suspect they would sell it in my neighborhood from roaming marijuana ice cream trucks that play Grateful Dead music. If there were a pro hippie sign, I would expect to see that in my neighborhood, but a mocking, anti hippie sign is just churlishly bizarre.
And yet it is particularly bizarre because of the even stranger second oddity here:
There actually are no more hippies left in the world.
Nope. Not a one.
"Hippies use side door" might just as well be "No Phoenician Solicitors"
Hippies were scattered, diluted and bought off through the seventies, quashed and marginalized through the eighties and remade and killed off in the nineties. Hippies exist now curiously as hipsters, who are slightly more closely related to beatniks and are only hippies in the way that say, Etruscans became Italians, or the Anasazi became Hopis, or Phoenicians became Iraqis, or you became your parents.
And though we can have more or less similarities and commonalities with, say, the fish that first crawled from the sea, we are not them.
So if all that peace, love, and understanding stuff, if the hippies broken, failed dream of a better world, and all their high water mark music is so offensive to someone, you'd think they'd be satisfied with the hippies extinction.
No, man, no long hairs will be nosing around your front door ever again.