The Fish
for 6 June 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
 
Suck Staff
 

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Suck Alumni Text
 

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Matt Beer
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Fit to be Tie-Died

Didn't you ever hear "write
what you know"? Fine for you
twerps to whine about the
'60s (admit it - you're
jealous), but don't confuse
the hippies with the
"Me-Generation." That was the
'70s, when teenagers
jettisoned the group-love
fantasy of their older
brothers and sisters and
adopted the "what's in it for
me" cynicism of Watergate,
the retreat from Vietnam, and
disco. It's harder to whine
about boomers of the '70s
because we, like our hero
John Travolta, have moved on
to bigger and better things
(like high-paying jobs).

Please keep producing your
confused screeds. I promise
not to apply to work there.

Rob Bradlee
<bradlee
@pandora.drc.com>

Ooo, and you sound much, much
better than those hippies.
"Our hero John Travolta"?
Maybe you should apply to
work here, just to keep the
office culturally diverse.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Normally I salivate at the
latest offerings in
hypersarcasm I get from my
daily suck read.

But bashing hippies, however
timely recent events may make
it, is an old joke.

The fact is that yeah, a lot
of "hippies" cashed in, but
so did "punks," and if you
look at the way the Chemical
Brothers are going over on
MTV, it looks like the
"ravers" are now, too
(actually most of them were
in it for the money from the
beginning I think).

But guess what? For every
bloated indulgence in '60s
nostalgia you can give me,
such as bashing the Woodstock
theme park, bashing The
Well's ideological stance on
"community" (hell, that shit
made me cancel my initial
account there back in the
early '90s), I can give you a
regional Rainbow Family
Gathering (still no money
allowed after 20 years!) or a
free party with bad bands in
the park of your choice.

Hippies never died, they just
got younger and started
listening to the Orb and
Phish after Jerry kicked it.

signed, an:

ex-punk
ex-hippie
ex-raver

It's our own peculiar vice
that we can't leave well
enough alone. It's just so
much fun to harp on those
dang hippies.

As you point out, there's
never been a shortage of
sellouts - god knows, we
count ourselves among 'em.

Best wishes,

E.L. Skinner

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Fit to Be Tie-Dyed

In your piece on the "hippies"
you managed to rehash the
same bullshit that the
mainstream media has been
slinging for three decades
and counting. You did wax the
Web angle but that kind of
happens by default in an
online column doesn't it?

Your tone read something like
this: "Oh those pathetic
hippies sold out and now
they're all over the Net
trying to host yet another
love-in and oh they're
charging admission again ...
blah blah"

Christ, you sounded just like
John MacLaughlin.

Kick it up a little, will you?

Tony F.

You drive a hard bargain.... I
guess we're losing our edge
after just a wee bit too much
experimentation with the
drugs and lifestyle we so
readily lampoon.

Anyway, despite the best
efforts of "the mainstream
media," we still feel - to
quote Mary Tyler Moore - that
love is all around, and there
just aren't enough people
lashing out in random and
hurtful ways.

But thanks for doing your
part. And thanks for taking
time to write.

E.L. Skinner

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

I liked your "Tie-Dyed" piece
very much. These old hippies
really piss me off (having
been one myself). There is
some good material over on
Salon with some asshole
called David Horowitz. This
guy is an archetypical
shithead, unless his last
piece was some kind of parody -
I don't think it was, but
it was so ridiculous that
perhaps it was some clever
put-down of money-grubbing
"old age" jerks. Check it
out. I guess Farakhan was
right in many ways - it's all
too much.

Lee Roskin
<ledros@got.net>

Thanks for your note, Lee.

We often cogitate on the
possibility that Salon is
engaged in an elaborate
parody of itself - an
approach, by the way, that we
at Suck have trademarked and
copyrighted nine ways from
Sunday ... so you can bet
when we have it figured out,
we'll slap them with a
whopping lawsuit that'll send
'em running for their Dead
bootlegs.

Thanks again,

E.L. Skinner

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

A bit too young myself to
truly live in the summer of
love, I guess I was old
enough to be a running dog
(or a running pup). I've been
seeing lately a real upsurge
in the kind of incision your
rant in suck.com exemplifies.
I must say I noticed all the
symptoms you excoriate, at
the time (e.g., as a
14-year-old, getting
moratorium petitions signed
...) the egotism, unearned
bravado, sexism, and numerous
varieties of personal
narcissism.

What these expressions of
your point of view invariably
leave out (nothing witty
about it) is the coincident
death and destruction "way
over yonder in Vietnam".... I
can tell you that even if
what occurred (stateside) at
the time and what largely
remains is a
self-congratulatory
counterculturalism, a
consciousness of senseless
mass murder, uncontrollable,
was the fundamental pedal
tone of that era. The hippy
stuff just happened on top of
it, and was amplified by it.
Today, it's much harder to
make money off a war that
everyone wants to erase -
much easier to recycle Wavy
Gravy.

We never stopped the war.
Those of us who remained home
(even pups like myself) and
who remained alive will
always carry that around.
What you're seeing, I think,
is basically compensation
nostalgia - it's pretty beat
I agree - but it mainly grows
out of a tremendous sense of
pain and failure.

Gillies, Lindsay
<Lindsay.Gillies
@fmr.com>

Thanks a lot for your
thoughtful note. I think
you're right on the mark -
and those of us that were too
young to remember see only
the pop-cultural trappings
that keep coming back to
haunt us. But then it seems
to me that this fundamental
ambivalence lies at the heart
of the era: Freedom to break
with puritanical mores (sex,
drugs, rock & roll),
counterbalanced with freedom
to protest institutionalized
immorality (war on
communism).

In other words, there was
plenty of pain - so where's
the gain?

Anyway, thanks again for
enunciating an important, and
serious, facet of this easily
lampooned era.

Best wishes,

E. L. Skinner

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

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