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WFMU and the anti-hippy tradition

Lurking around WFMU-FM of New Jersey’s great website, I’ve been stumbling across all kinds of fun blog posts about anti-hippy songs. The most famous of these, of course, is Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee,” but a 2008 post mentions others, including Ed Faucet’s “Hippy Stomp,” Alvie Self’s “Hippieville,” and Johnny Bucket’s “Hippy in a Blunder.”

“For years, I thought Johnny was saying ‘Hippy In A Blender’, not ‘blunder’,” the blogger notes. “Either way, it is a true ‘Hippy Hater’ anthem” (more on the tune here).

As for Ed Faucet, he “is now reportedly running a vegan snack shack in Venice, California,” the essay adds.

Related WFMU entries include “Happy Holidays, You Damn Hippies,” and “Keep America Beautiful, Get a Haircut.” The latter mentions Smokey Harless’ timeless song, “A Place for Them Called Hell”:

“They can carry their signs go marching in the streets, all that’s good and well -  But to my way of thinking if they don’t like our country, there’s a place for them called hell.”

Brilliant. WFMU seems to be somewhat obsessed with hippies. They even came up in staff lunch meeting minutes of July 2005:

Here are some of the sub-categories of the hippie subject that were tackled this afternoon:

* The DJs on staff who either shy away from the hippie music, as opposed to those who embrace it warmly and cradle it to their bosom appreciatively.

* Which DJs on staff might have been hippies, who are currently hippies, who are hippies in denial, or who are closeted hippies. (Followed by the suspected reaction that accusing specific staffers of being hippies might earn.)

* The most feverishly devoted kind of hippie, i.e. “Off the Grid Hippies”. The differences between OTG Hippies and “Phishheads”, “Trust Fund Hippies”, and “Ho-Hippies” are briefly argued.

There are, of course, many non-good ol’ boy based reasons  to have mixed feelings about hippies, especially if you have ever been involved with a community radio station or some similar operation.

I have yet to join the Anti-Hippie Action League or start a blog like Antihippy.com, but I do I dislike what I call the Three Hippy Hypocrisies (3H2). These flow from the hippy fiction that structure and leadership are inherently repressive.

Here are my deconstructions of these assertions; to wit:

1. “I oppose any moderation of this forum as censorship.”

Translation: “Let’s let the discussion be moderated by whoever is loudest, rudest, and speaks or posts the most often—such as myself. We’ll just bully or drown out anyone else’s perspective. That’s the kind of moderation I like.”

2. “I’m against delegating responsibilities. Let’s let the energy flow.”

Translation: “I want an organization in which the main criteria for determining leadership is who happens to be hanging around at the moment—in other words, me again.”

3. “We need to talk about this [endlessly].”

Translation: “Let’s take forever to make decisions so that the only people who can belong this group are folks with lots of free time (eg, moi).”

But hippies do have their moments, as even the last two items on WFMU’s staff meeting acknowledged:

It is generally agreed upon that the term “Weapons Hippies” can inspire gales of robust laughter when repeated aloud.

* Whose turn it is to make the coffee. The admission that our coffee was grown by the hippies of Vermont. End of meeting.



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8 Responses to WFMU and the anti-hippy tradition

  1. John Poet August 29, 2011 at 6:44 am #

    If it weren’t for hippies, we’d still be fighting a war in Vietnam…

    Peace!

  2. Matthew Lasar August 29, 2011 at 7:42 am #

    John:

    You know, the Vietnamese may have had something to do with that bit. But while we’re at it . . . thank you, hippies, for preventing Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan from becoming President.

  3. Eric Weaver August 29, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    The main beef I’ve ever had with hippies in community radio is that they have frequently seemed utterly clueless when it comes to the real things that need to happen to keep a place running… and hopeless when it comes to carrying those things out. “Responsibility” is such a militaristic, hierarchial and patriarchial term…

  4. Mike August 29, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    Funny entry. I remember a lot of those songs on the radio growing up in the rural South. (The story Charlie Daniels told in “Uneasy Rider” is way too close to the truth of my youth.)

    However my favorite anti-Hippie anthem comes from the 80′s, the Dead Milkmen’s “The Thing That Only Eats Hippies”. The line “It chewed on David Crosby,but it spit him out!” still makes me roll on the floor two plus decades later.

    As an aside,why do Lesbian folk singers use David Crosby as sperm donor? The guy is a crazed,violent,heavily armed drug addict. Yep,that’s a gene pool that needs to spread far and wide.

  5. Jennifer Waits August 29, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    By the way, when I visited WFMU I saw a sign that read: “Hippies Use Side Door.”

  6. Guise Faux August 29, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    Someone at WFMU must’ve been possessed by Eric Cartman since 2003 when Soho’s Hippy Chick was on the playlist.

  7. charles reinsch August 29, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    They are growing coffee in Vermont?

  8. jerry jeff September 4, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    Jerry Jeff Walker: “….kicking hippies asses…”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcBOcwgb4OA

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