Flower power

It is said that if you can remember anything about the 60s and “the movement” then you weren’t a part of it. This is to imply that the Hippies, and the entire flower generation were constantly… stoned.
Closer to the truth might be that this era, marked as the biggest social revolution ever, is beyond description. Even if one would have an intact by time memory.
All that remains is bits and pieces of a puzzle that once was a full picture, which now fades away with time. And it’s okay, since that is the natural course of things. 
The only thing that disgusts me is when people choose to “black it out” and willingly “delete” their memories, of what they once were. I’ve been accused more than once to be a romantic fool, and that is something I can live with. But how is it possible to have been a part of “the cause” (in any way) and then forget about it, become a big belly, a suit that makes money-hunting a top priority? How can some “old friends” turn into cynics about their youth, and bring up children that simply detest them? Beats me… (And what a haircut, shall I add…)

The movement is dead. And it’s better that way, because I wouldn’t bare to see it crawl around, do the zombie dance that refuses to die, or maybe even worse, have it commercialized and sold out…
Today kids all over the world learn about it in school. But every time I see the books, the photos, the documentaries etc, I always get the same notion, and have this phrase turning in my head “This could be it, this is close, but not quite it!”
But from time to time something from the past pops up unexpectedly, that makes it possible to understand and really feel the meaning of it all.

Some time ago I was traveling with my… significant other, on an empty country road during night time. And I was thrilled about our journey, because I had just found (in a form of a re-mastered CD) a long forgotten album of the 60s and I let it play as I drove.
The entire LP (!) from back then was full of recording imperfections, but with lyrics that could make a good poetry book…
We made a stop to rest in the middle of nowhere, but we left the stereo on. I know the songs by heart, still, after all this time, and I was too happy in doing… the sing along. But my co-driver, she was hearing them for her first time, and was fully absorbed in figuring out the meaning behind the words.
At some instance she turned to face me with this expression of amassment, pointed her finger at me and with wide eyes said to me, I remember every word: “…the movement…it was really real, wasn’t it?”
But she said it in such an intense tone of voice as if it was I, the one who was hiding a secret from her all this time.
Only to realize a moment later, that a simple song, first time heard, was the ticket for her to “get it” what the movement felt like, what it was all about.
You see, plain data, info and history is good, but it’s not enough to do something like this to you…

There is a place called Matala, that is located in the southern part of the Greek island Crete. When this place was under Roman Empire rule, they excavated narrow caves into the beach’s mountain, in order to form tombs for their dead. Today it’s a happy tourist attraction for people that visit the place, and run up and down the steep site, in order to get into as many caves possible and take pictures. But back in the 60s it was fully occupied by Hippies that used the place as homes.
Hippy communities where scattered across many more islands, like Ios, Naxos, you name it. This was a worldwide phenomenon, and as more and more young people joined that way of life they became… a threat. Then other social “communities” like the church, the police and the politicians, did try their best to break them up.
And the innuendo of the drug taking Hippies has also a different explanation, about who it was, introducing drugs to them in the first place… 
Please don’t be in a haste to overrule this, since this method was used before, very successfully in China by colonist forces. They systematically enslaved an entire generation with opium, and when Mao Tse-Tung took over, he did not know what to do with them. History says he wiped them all out!
A few last of the original Hippies still exist in the North of India in a futile resistance of our times. Not everything about the movement was perfect, but it affected deeply all aspects of life. About the “lost cause” there is one thing that pisses me off more than anything else, and it can be expressed in a single line.
We never saw the movement develop in order to see what it can really do!  
And by now everything around us shows that we need a revolution like this, and we need it fast. Not like the old one, not a repetition of the 60s, but definitely in the same direction! When something dies, it gives its place with its absence, to something new. In the case of the movement, this space is still vacant…

Among many things, it was at that time, of experimentation and new open minded ideas, when the western doors opened to the Arts of the east. Indian yoga and meditation, Chinese Kung-fu methods, Martial Arts of Japan and especially Aikido… flourished.

The usual first reaction when we recall Kwai-Chang Caine, of the famous Kung-fu TV series, is to remember that he was half Chinese and half Westerner (American). But a lot of contribution, in the formation of this character, belongs to actor David Carradine himself, who by the way was many things but not… Chinese.
So, if you take a deeper look into the character, you will see that… grasshopper Caine was part Shaolin part…Hippy.

A brief description of what the movement and its people were about:
The movement didn’t have any kind of leaders. It was not even unofficially represented, but many important personalities where part of it. This “thing” was as free as it could get.
Everything started in California, and did spread world wide like…the flu, in no time.  
The Hippies were minimizing possessions to the absolute essential and needed, and that meant on a practical level “what you can carry in your back pack”. Living a life as free as they could while making pursue of happiness a way of life.
The motto “Make love not War” was on the highest practice. Women where practically liberated from oppression and making love did stop meaning ownership. The concept “fuck around” and “one night stand” was not on the menu of the time. Yet, people where making love!
When anybody puts today the word “peace” in his mouth, even if he has won the Nobel Prize about it, I keep my doubts on his intentions.  
Nobody was as peace loving as the Hippies were.
The entire revolution in order “to change the world” and “beat the system from within” was conducted by young people, and May ’68 in Paris was just the tip of the iceberg.
The idea of community life was to replace the doctrine of the family, as we know it until now. On a social level this could be considered (this is a long shot but I will take it) as the vice versa, and inside out, of the Spartan warrior communities!
If the 60s would have carried on, words like environment would have stayed as just another rarely used word that rests in lexicons. And environmentalists would have stayed a term for those who actually exercise the science on that subject. Today people call themselves “environmentalists” as if they belong to some kind of progressive… movement.
It is undeniable that the era of “flower power” was marked by people from all walks of life, that at least for once in the history of mankind, tried to look in one common human direction

"Peace man"

(…delayed since July 1976)