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They should swing for this

A mercifully uneventful journey for me on the London Underground this morning. Nonetheless, I reached my destination feeling ever-so-slightly disturbed.

No, I did not see anyone holding a Koran and muttering incantations while trying to wire two batteries together. Worse still, what I noticed was quite a few teenagers (who boarded and alighted separately so unlikley to be a group) dressed entirely in full-on, recreation 60’s hippy gear. Yes, I do mean the Indian scarfs, the bell-bottom jeans, flowers-in-hair, tie-dye T-shirts and white lipstick. And the girls were dressed exactly the same.

I was shocked, I tell you, shocked. Is this the latest trend? Is this what is ‘hot and happening’ among the ‘yoof’? Has anybody else observed this elsewhere? In America? Europe? Australia? Israel? Japan? Anywhere? Or is just the UK? Or perhaps just London?

I assure you this was not a mirage. These youngsters were genuine retro-hippies but what I want to know is whether this is the burgeoning new fashion or merely some isolated cases of severe mental disturbance that happened, by pure coincidence, to be travelling on the same train as me?

If it is a case of the former then I have a message for any impressionable teenagers who might be reading this and feeling the temptation to abandon themselves to a re-heated Age of Aquarius: for chrissakes, get a grip!!

I realise that you are too young to have been psychologically scarred by the 60’s first time round but, for heaven’s sake, do you realise just how nauseatingly sanctimonious all this flower-power mummery can be? What the world needs now is not love, sweet love but a swift and well-aimed kick up the jacksy. The last thing we need is for heaps of you to start mooning around looking for your Shakra. Or growing organic lentils on a commune in Wales.

So just stop it. Now

Of course, today’s teenagers can hardly be blamed for the cultural stony-desert in which we presently dwell but since they are forced to go trawling through the archives of late 20th Century youth sub-cultures for inspiration then I sincerely hope that they have the good sense and common decency to revive the snarling, anarchic (and far better dressed) age of Punk Rock.

21 comments to They should swing for this

  • Asher Abrams

    You mean, other people don’t dress like that?

  • Dale Amon

    Actually I quite enjoyed being a hippy musician and doing my best to perform the holy sacrements of SD&RR with all the religious fervour of a fundamentalist looking for the correct multidaily Meccan orientation.

    S’cool Davey man. Like, just do your own thing, you know? By the way, got any spare Rizzlas?

  • Charlie (Colorado)

    Relax. It may seem a little silly, but remember this means hippy chicks of easy virtue in halter tops and hip-hugger pants.

    What the hell is Rizzlas? Are Rizzlas?

  • Patri Friedman

    Man, you brits really are uptight!

    Fashion is ephemeral and unimportant. Besides, if you let it get to you, you let the fashion terrorists win…

  • I’ve not sighted any retro-hippies in Adelaide. Of course, if this is a new fashion world wide, I will be the last to see it.

  • Aral Simbon

    Fashion is not ephemeral and unimportant. Ever read “The Substance of Style” by Virginia Postrel?

  • Jim

    What do you expect people to wear to macrame class? Did they offer you a hit off their bong David? Man, I wish I had been there.

  • The real question is whether they’ve simply adopted the fashion, or they’ve completely embraced the culture. Hopefully once weed gets legalized, the whole hippy culture won’t seem nearly as cool.

  • Verity

    Remember that photo of Osmana BL taken in Britain when he was around 20? All dressed up in his flares, his tie dyed body shirt, his Afro – I mean, that kid was ready to shake his booty. Far OUT! – and guess what, man, my lady’s a witch. No shit, man …

    Maybe it was the humiliation of the memory of that outfit that made him so bitter.

  • Andrew Duffin

    Latest must-have accessory for 12-year-old girls round about where I live is…Afghan coats. I kid you not.

  • syn

    Hey man, let’s hop on the 30 year old psychedelic Magic Bus, take our free peace-love-and-understanding pill and ride into oblivion.

    Crazy trip man. Wow, tyedye, man, that’s cool.

  • guess who?

    It’s the new Mother Nature takin’ over…

  • Oh goodie…foul smelling punks who can’t play and sing…yeah great trend to revive. Never mind that most of them hard-core lefties and anarchists. Lets face it punk was more there for the rebellion than for the music, most of which was total crap.

  • Given that the originators of those hippie styles are the ones currently in authority, I don’t think that a little punk rebellion-for-the-sake-of-rebellion would be that bad of an idea.

  • mary beth

    The only decade I have seen being revived in London at the moment is the 1980s and that is not a style that should be allowed to mar this century as well as the last.

  • M. Simon

    I think the hippie thing is coming back. In fact I just did a hippie chick the other day. Man are those girls wild.

    And for those of you moralists with all too vivid imaginations the hippie chick is my wife of 21 years. And still a wild and crazy beauty.

  • A few years ago, the Chicago Police Department had to gear up for a Democratic Presidential Nominating Convention. (’96?) Massive left wing protests were planned. An underground T-Shirt circulated. It read:

    “We kicked your father’s smelly hippie ass in ’68. Now we’re gonna kick yours. ”

    It’s not idiots with bad hair, floppy bra-less hooters and patchouli oil that piss me off – it’s their affiliation with the most destructive and violent Marcusians that pisses me off. The hippie peaceniks served as grinning, stoned footsoldiers in an attempt to overthrow Western Civ. The average Chicago cop of ”68 or ’96 probably couldn’t articulate it quite that way, but their revulsion was certainly spot on. Good to see their deeply (small “c”) conservative sentiments have lived on.

  • Not surprising. Youth culture like the retro days as teenagers today are never original to start a trend on their own other than bringing back memories. The seniors at my school have bumper stickers denouncing Bush, while wearing colored bellbottoms and colorful shirts.

  • Goth

    I’m a Goth and I’m 56 years old. Is that bad?

  • Those youngster i don’t think so suffers with any sorta agony.Yes but the legal and burgeoning fashion.They might preparing themselves set up to become controversial(OR).

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