Hump Day and Hippies

13 Apr

Wednesday. Hump Day. Once we ride this day out, we’re over the hump and on a downhill slide toward the thing we all really live for–the weekend.  That’s the logic of this “hump” of which we speak, or so I suppose.

An exercise in wishing your life away. We do a lot of that, we humans.

That’s how come we wake up one day and more time has passed than we intended. “Where did the years go?” we ask ourselves. It wasn’t the years so much as the days that slipped on by, while we celebrated Hump Day and TGIFed our way into another weekend.

That was properly cynical, but I am still OK with the fact that it is now the center of the week. Downhill slide. Weeeeeeeee!

Last night I started watching a documentary on Netflix streaming called “Revolution.” It is a documentary made in 1968, filmed in Haight Ashbury.

If you know anything about that time and place, you know that what San Francisco had plenty of then and there was hippies. The footage is kind of raw, which only adds to the appeal. We see these idealistic people drop acid, smoke dope, dance in parks, panhandle, operate co-operatives to provide free goods to people who have no money, put on street theater, and lament the Vietnam War. There is also footage of non-hippies of all ages providing their insight into the hippies, including a man who works for the health department, who laments the number of cases of venereal diseases he has seen, and people at cocktail parties praising the hippie’s spirit.

My favorite hippie in the movie is this sweet blond girl who explains how she decided to change her name from Louise to Today (“Today is now. Today is what’s happening right now!”) after dropping acid with a girl named Monday. Then we see her panhandling for change to support her Twinkie habit. No, Twinkie is not code for a kind of drug. This child says she is addicted to the cake with the frosting in the center.

Of course, as I am both delighting in these zany young people and shaking my head over their antics at the same time, I am also reminding myself–these kids are older than me.

In 1968, I turned 10 years old. My uncle gave me my first bicycle. It was red and had a “sissy bar.”  To me, hippies were something you saw on TV and in the pages of Look and Life magazine. Parents, aunts, uncles, school teachers and friend’s parents were all great sources of anti-drug propaganda. “Drugs are bad, m’kay?”

I was 10 in 1968 and these kids were 20 or so. They’re all at or near retirement age now. How many of them dropped out, turned on and then later dusted themselves off, got a job and climbed the corporate ladder. How many decided to “change the system from within” or finally decided it was easier to have money than to be poor?  I’d love to see a follow-up to this movie. Where are they now? Where is Today? Did she keep that name or go back to being Louise? Did she ever figure out that eating Twinkies is probably worse for her than any of the drugs she took? Seriously, that processed food will kill you.

Happy Wednesday or Hump Day is you prefer.

2 Responses to “Hump Day and Hippies”

  1. Fred Lehman April 13, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Honestly, I’m tired of hearing about those days, but I suppose the younger kids, and I still consider my self very much a kid, need to know about history and that is exactly what it is now … history. In the words of the kids of today … ancient history, at that. Like you I would like to a see a then and now documentary, but the problem with that is that there are a lot of the hippies who did not make it through to now and that could be quite depressing. Those that did, didn’t turn out much better than the establishment they were protesting against.

  2. Lyndsay ~ The Kitchen Witch April 13, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    This line caused me to say “Wow” out loud:

    “That’s how come we wake up one day and more time has passed than we intended. “Where did the years go?” we ask ourselves. It wasn’t the years so much as the days that slipped on by, while we celebrated Hump Day and TGIFed our way into another weekend.”

    I love the thought of Today and her Twinkie habit. Today is now 🙂

    Meanwhile, when I was a kid, my dad used to call our city park “Hippie park” – to this day we still refer to it as such in our family.

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