Friday, June 01, 2007

Do you want to touch my Lingam?

Not a lot of people know this, but I used to be a hippy. When I switched from poncey private school to poncey comprehensive school at sixteen, I gave it a really good go.

There were quite a few hippies at the school, who preferred to go around barefoot, which was okay because the school was just by Hampstead Heath, so you could walk on dog turd covered grass rather than dog turd covered pavement. Being a hippy involved:

1. Having hairy armpits.

2. Listening to Van Morrison, Astral Weeks especially ("I love Van the Man, he's so fucking deep, do you know what I'm saying?")

3. Going to 'Smoke Outs' - where you'd spend all night with a bunch of stoners in someone's front room, getting stoned, obviously, then groping someone, passing out and waking up the next morning with carpet burn on your face and bright red eyeballs. Not a good look.

4. Talking shit while you were stoned.

5. Some of the other hippies hugged trees to feel their energy, but I never really got anything out of it.

I quite liked being a hippy, mostly because it really annoyed my mum, ("Why are all your friends so dirty? Why can't they wash their hair?"), especially when I started dating a thirty-eight year old hippy called Roger (I was eighteen). At some point that relationship was terminated, when he came round to the flat while I was out and my mum told him to "piss off and leave my daughter alone." Obviously his hair was that kind of matted dreadlocked style, even though he was white. Obviously he lived in a squat. He was a pretentious tosser who said things like, "Just because this apple is bruised does it mean we should reject it because it is less than perfect?" He was good at sex though....

Where was I? Eventually I got tired of the hippies, with all their talk of past lives ("I had a dream that I was a cat in Ancient Egypt"). And my brush with hippiedom truly ended when I got to university and realized that the acid house era had dawned. Hippies were so yesterday, man.

It was time to shave those pits, to throw out the patchouli and the tie dye skirts. It was time to don a smiley t-shirt and flap your arms like a spasticated penguin, nodding to the lyrics that defined a generation:

"You're twistin' my melon man, you know you talk so hip man
You're twistin' my melon man."



The times, they were a-changin:
Talking shit on weed was so OVER.
If you were going to talk shit, it had to be while you were on E.

Anyway, yesterday I was at the pool I go to, listening in to these two middle aged tattooed hippies, and trying not to laugh at their conversation.

One of them was wearing a bikini, wool socks and DM boots, (even though it was 90 degrees F).

Tattooed Hippy 1: Do you want to hold my stone? It's from India, called a Lingam. It's a power stone, very calming.

TH2: (Takes a brown pebble from TH1): Wow! Not a visible power surge, but it feels good.

TH1: I belong to this drumming group, (TH2 did not crease up in laughter at this), and we have this tradition in the group called a 'giveaway.'

TH2: What's that?

TH1: Well, at the end of each gathering, one of the drummers gives something away to the rest of the group. And last week an acupuncturist in the group gave me this stone. She had some negative energies coming off her, so when I got home I cleansed the stone - I stuck it in some dirt. I've taken to carrying it around to center me. Hey, it's your birthday today, isn't it?

TH2: Yeah.

TH1: In that case, I'm going to send you a birthday greeting from this friendly rock.

She actually said that the rock was sending a greeting.

That's when I realized the big problem with hippies...absolutely no sense of irony.

What about you, what trend did you follow as a teen? How bad were the clothes? Do you admit to having once being a hippy?


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25 comments:

Peach said...

ah brilliant - LOVED this post!!!!!!!!! Will have a think about my worst 80's/hippy behaviour and re-comment later, although I already can tell you it involves thinking I was a chinese mouse...

er, yes...

Midnight said...

Eww at the hairy pits, I've expressed my opinion on the mulberry bushes a few times!

I was a rocker/hippy dude too. I used to wear a patchouli scented Afghan coat and VERY flared Karman Ghia jeans. I would never take off my denim jacket and my mother used to sneak into my room at silly o clock to put it in the wash. I even had long hair in those days.

A Liquid Blue said...

That's it. I'm moving back to where you live and starting a Lingam store. Tell them the Indian lady's comin'!!!

Misssy M said...

Sorry I was a Goth; traditional enemy of the hippy. But just as tragic.

jeanie said...

Where I went to uni, the very small town sort of had to merge identifying units - so I was a sort of cross between being a goth and being "alternative" - you know, the crowd of happy dancing fools who loved indie music? Although I did kick against their traces of all "alternative" fools having to look and dress alike.

A colourful goth, really.

la fille mariƩe said...

Late punk early goth? That's as close as I can get, I think.

beta mum said...

Well, let's see. Am I, or was I ever, a hippy...

I don't shave my armpits (or anything else).
I hate, and always have hated, patchouli oil.
I used to listen to Astral Weeks sometimes at college, but these days I have to listen to Disney hits.
Smoking dope made me throw up.
Listening to people who'd smoked dope made me throw up.
Crystals et al left me cold (and chuckling unkindly).

I think I'd describe my younger self as one of the cynical, perhaps dull, people who never joined a youth movement, not even the Guides.

George said...

Emma ... far out and groovy baby. The 60ies were like, so there. Woodstock, Dylan, Baez, Haight Ashbury, Jefferson Airplane, and so much sex ... didn't do the drugs though.

Kira said...

oh my god Emma you have absolutely hit the nail on the head....

That's when I realized the big problem with hippies...absolutely no sense of irony.

and that is why I made a crappy hippie, too. plus my dreary pessimistic side didn't help.

I never fit in any group... I guess some kind of "alternative", not quite punk or goth or mod or ska or whatever. I was just a big wierdo. Perhaps I fit in best with all the other wierdos in art school. almost.

cesca said...

This post rang many many bells for me.

I used to hang out in 24 hour coffee shops, and it drove my mother WILD. I'd bring home tattoed pierced dreadlocked men in kilts. I also introduced her once to a 40 year old "poet" who taught me how to juggle.

However, although I hung around with a lot of hippies, I was seen to be more of a "goth". I wasn't a goth, but I guess if you wear nothing but black (with a hint of purple) and wear Docs with black fishnets, and always a full face of makeup including "blackberry" coloured lipstick, then people think this of you.

I wasn't a hippie. I wasn't a goth. I just hung out at 24 hour coffee shops hoping to score with musos. Call me a wannabe, or a groupie.

rivergirlie said...

you're so right about the lack of irony - i think that defines the cultural divide almost more than the clothes and stuff.
anyhoo - do i really have to admit? k - hippy, then punk, then (very briefly) new romantic - now simply dull!
so what school were you at, then, cos i used to live in highgate - we might have bumped into each other on hampstead heath on day - how weird is that?
x
(think i've cracked this commenting thing)

The Fellatrix said...

30+ years ago, I hung around with a lot of hippies although I can't claim to have been one myelf. As I recall, their favorite passtimes were having sex and going to breakfast stoned before they returned to the dorm to crash until that night. They were fun until they all flunked out. One of them had a shirt with the ZigZag man embroidered on it. Haven't seen him lately (ZigZag, not the hippie). Oh, the good old days ...

The Fellatrix

EmmaK said...

peach...I would love to hear about your experiences as a chinese mouse. Don't be ashamed...we're all friends here.

midnight...you sound like you were very sexy back then ;) Actually I quite like men with long hair ... I mean a little longer than ear length, not long long...

a liquid blue....don't bother finding original Lingams, just fill a suitcase full of any old brown pebbles...fly to the USA and make a bomb selling them to the hippies. I'm pretty sure they won't be able to tell the difference.

misssy m...I wasn't waif like enough to be a goth. Also it wasn't in in London when I was a teen. It was trendy to be a rockabilly when I was 14/15...then later hippiedom.

EmmaK said...

jeanie...being a colorful goth sounds like it might be kind of fun.

la fille mariee....I am trying to envisage you as a mix of punk and goth....punks were angry and extroverted and goths were depressed and introverted..so, an interesting combination.

beta mum....not shaving one's pits must be a political statement these days. Because it is so fashionable these days to remove leg, armpit and pubic hair. I bet you don't shave because you are just lazy though...;)

george...that's what my mum says. That in the sixties people were lying all over the London parks having sex openly....it must have been fun!!

kira...i was attracted to being a hippy because it was all about just 'being' you didn't have to achieve anything, just live in the moment...but all the stuff about auras etc was just too much BS.

cesca....you sound like you were kind of groovy with your black lipstick. I never understood groupies, why women want to sleep with someone just because they are able to strum a guitar with some dexterity. Did you ever score with a muso....are they good lovers in general?

rivergirlie...I went to Parliament Hill School, Highgate Road, in the Sixth Form. I must say I really miss Hampstead Heath. Did you ever used to swim in the Ladies pond, where there are hundreds of topless ladies sunbathing together...it's kind of a female utopia? Sometimes you would see a peeping tom sitting in a tree trying to gawp at this bosom fest.

the fellatrix....I didn't find getting stoned all that interesting after a while. And getting the munchies all the time gets kind of expensive.

Sean said...

I'm with John Lydon when it comes to hippies.

I have always enjoyed having a group of people who all talk and act in exactly the same way telling me I'm a conformist.

Moobs

Tickersoid said...

I was such a hippy even though, in the back of my mind I knew we couldn't all tune in, turn on and drop out. Consequently, I didn't have a career.

I really should have been young enough for the dance era. That would have been very 'me'.

I've still never taken an 'e' but wouldn't turn one down.

Manuel said...

pistinkioil! fuck i hated that stuff. What was the point of it? What?

EmmaK said...

sean...good point, that hippies are as conformist as so called 'squares'. I heard a radio program the other day that said that there are no true non conformists any more, which is true I think. I consider myself a non-conformist but I may simply be work shy ;)

tickersoid...actually I've never taken an E just because when it first came out everyone kept saying it drains your spinal fluid and may paralyse you in ten years time etc. I don't know if any of those things ever actually really came to pass but it scared me enough not to take one.

manuel...yeah patchouli really reeks, coupled with stale marijuana smoke on a hippies clothes and hair, sometimes used to make me feel quite queasy.

Al Sensu said...

Hippie wannabe. I was 15 in 1968 which is when the East Village hippie scene was at its height (a year after San Fran). So I was just a bit too young to really be part of the scene. But I'd go down there and hang around St. Mark's Place, go back uptown and smoke dope with friends to Hendrix and Moby Grape, burn sandalwood incense, and play acoustic guitars. By 18, had hair below the shoulder, but true hippiedom was dead by 1971. Too much brown acid (which I never did -- strictly a weed man). Slight revival in the early 90s when I attempted a pony tail. It was pathetic. But I still love Hendrix and have no idea what happened to my Moby Grape LPs. I love that the teenager and we argue about which Hendrix album was better. Mom says Electric Ladyland, but he and I say Are You Experienced.

Gorilla Bananas said...

I thought Steve Macqueen came up with that 'Twisting my melon' line.

rilly super said...

I once had a lovely cream tea in Glastonbury so I suppose I was a hippy too emma, dear

Just a toy said...

I missed the whole hippy thing and my parents are too straight to ever have been cool.

But I´ll touch your whatever that word was lingam???

Midnight said...

Hmmph! It sounds like you're implying that I'm not very sexy NOW Em ;) Am I past it already?

Actually my hair was kind of shoulder length. Talking of long hair though, the rocker woman I was dating at the time had the most unkempt bush I've ever seen, even to this date. But that's another story.

EmmaK said...

al sensu...I am so jealous that you were a hippy the first time around!

gorilla bananas...I believe Steve McQueen did say,
"Are you twisting my melon, man?". I guess Shaun Ryder appropriated it into his tune.

rilly super...Glastonbury festival!! No! I was never a true hippy because the thought of being at that horrid muddy festival with no sleep and lots of people talking crap on acid, no, I could never bring myself to do it. Much more civilized to have a lovely cream tea.

just a toy...thanks for offering to touch my lingam. It vibrates wave after wave of cosmic energy.

midnight...no, you are sexy now! And shoulder length hair can be sexy only I just meant not those men who have ponytails!! Yuck. Also I meant the stinky Afghan coat didn't sound too sexy. Look forward to reading more about the rocker woman's bush!

missy said...

LOL! I love that hippie conversation :-)

As a teen I'm ordinary, much like as me as an adult really. I took school quite seriously though.. nerd!