Once a realm ruled exclusively by Hippies, the altruistic, drugged-out musical lifestyle has sheltered a new subculture for nearly a decade now. Ravers — or “children of the night,” as they have fawningly named themselves — are the next generation in the alternative lifestyle corral. Both groups are fundamentally pacifist, but what if someone laced their weed and their water bottles with a competition drug? A drug so potent that it drew the two sides together in a conclusive battle over the last organically grown peach? Let’s see who prevails in this battle of patchouli vs. pacifiers…
Hippies have an army of psychedelic rock gods and goddesses that include Joplin, Hendrix, The Dead, Young, and Phish. Ravers have DJ Door Prize, MC Silent Auction and Hi5. Although some Ravers may argue that all dance music is rave music, I would argue that not all dance music is actually music.
Hippies have given us the love-in, communal living, The Institute for Contemporary Shamanistic Studies and the Manson Family. Ravers have given us all-night dance parties rampant with older Ravers selling younger Ravers second-rate drugs, a wealth of topics for Afterschool Specials, and addictions to expired cough medicine. These “raves” or “kandi kid rodeos” do little more than confirm that suburban youth have too much money on their hands. Staying up all night might be a protest against your parents, but the Monkey Wrench Gang and Greenpeace have them beat.
Hippies: Planet Organic, Mountain Equipment Coop, IBM/Macintosh. Ravers: Arby’s, Drug Testing Laboratories (as both pharmacists and subjects), RCMP.
Side Effects Of Lifestyle
Hippies: Dreadlocks, dolphin tattoos, the munchies, and PETA. Ravers: Reductions in dopamine content, DAT density, and tyrosine hydroxylase (the dopamine synthesizing enzyme) in the striatum and nearby areas due to amphetamine abuse. Also: rampant inanity.
Hippies rely on a verbal diet of “dude,” “dudette,” “awesome,” “far out,” “oppressor!” and “Don’t harsh my buzz, man, ’cause I’m smoking what I found in my carpet and it’s all I got.” Ravers rely on a series of grunts, hand gestures, stale glances, glowstick wiggles and the word “PLUR,” which is not really a word.
Hippies are known to be cause-driven, patchouli-smelling, tree-hugging, fur-hating, crystal-necklace-wearing, Esperanto-supporting, bongo-playing, Tab-drinking, long-hair-having, unicorn-believing-in war protesters with less-than-appealing personal hygiene. Ravers are known to be drug-using, androgynous, inside-joking, fun-fur-wearing scenesters who wet the bed on purpose and will one day name their children after bad ideas.
While Hippies can sway back and forth with the best of them, Ravers can perform a series of seizure-like pantomimes while hysterically laughing and crying at the same time. It would be tough to call “falling down from boring themselves to sleep” a dance move, but there is a subtle grace there. On the other hand, with signature dance moves as “punching the air,” “explaining a dogfight,” and “my face is made of boners,” the Ravers get points just on creativity.
In the end, the Ravers are beset by the same stereotypes that tarred Hippies back when they were the misunderstood counterculture avatars. But the Hippies, in all their unwashed glory, still take a resounding modern-day victory. Remember, though: there is no real winner, as both Hippies and Ravers must eventually grow up, get real jobs, and join the establishment they once rejected.