An identity debate is raging in some corners over who is or isn’t a hippie versus a hipster. It goes back in part, I suppose, to the defining line between hippie and beatnik, even though I could point to many points where they blur together.

For me, the bigger question invokes the world of those individuals who don’t feel at home in the mainstream but rather gravitate in a bohemian direction. Yes, there have always been those who go out of their way to look the part of the movement … and those who just are. With hippies versus hipsters, I might draw a line in a person’s stance when it comes to non-violence and equality and the like, but there were always degrees when it came down to specific instances. These days, in my reexamination of the hippie movement, I keep arguing that hippies came – and still come – in many varieties.

That’s part of the reason I find myself smiling when I hear the theme for the local arts and technology charter school’s prom: Victorian Steampunk.

Sounds cool to me. And like a lot of fun. Besides, it really is a sweet group.

Sure beats ours back in the mid ’60s.

The hippie era, I might add, had a thing for Victorian style anyway. Even if we didn’t put clocks in our stovepipe hats.


12 thoughts on “HIPPIE, HIPSTER, OR WHAT?

  1. I don’t really see a connection between hippie and hipster. What exactly do hipsters, in general, stand for? Hippies seemed to have some goal.
    A Victorian Steampunk prom sounds pretty awesome though. If only to eliminate the need for a tux and limo.

  2. RE Hipsters and Hippies, I’m reminded of a line from Arlo Guthrie’s song “Prologue”: “Just because you say you’ve seen the light/Doesn’t mean nobody sold you”

    Hippie was a style as well as a culture (I recently reconnected with an old friend from high school, who graduated with me in ’76–I was affecting workshirts and jeans, she was affecting 1969 bell-bottoms. flowers, and shawls), and so is Hipster. You can now buy Hipster-ready fixed gear bikes at WalMart. $99.

    We are constantly stroked–how many people still think of Apple computer as an innovative, “think different” company and so identify with it, through Apple has been among the most aggressive companies in policing its intellectual property, and most monocultural in terms of its approach? We are constantly having the wool pulled over our eyes.

    And the next step after having the wool pulled over your eyes is usually to be sheared…

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