Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Hippies are coming, the hippies are coming.....

Dude! Where’s my Decade?

I accidentally stumbled into the 60’s last weekend when the wife and I took a leisurely shopping stroll on a lovely, sunny, Sunday in Kyoto. Our ultimate destination was the Bike (as in bicycle) Shop to purchase some new wheels but along the way we got caught in a tie-dyed tide of dreadlocked, Earth shoe wearing, patchouli oil reeking, compost heaping, tree hugging, peace loving, all organic, perpetually stoned/smiley hippies heading for Kyoto University so………….yes……….we, inexplicably, drifted into that gentle “All we are saying is give peace a chance” flow.

As for me, I’m really more of an angry, alcohol swilling, fried cow eating, motorcycle loving misanthrope with no God, no patience and a rapidly aging appetite for destruction- my own and everyone else’s- and so consequently, I fit into this party about as well as Dick Cheney at the Playboy Mansion but at least no one seemed to mind and a good time was achieved by all as far as I could determine.

There was truly no representative demographic here although the 30ish crowd with barefoot children running wild did seem to be the barely dominant breed. But all ages from craggy faced septuagenarians hanging onto their graying hair by growing it down to the ass level of their hemp MC Hammer pants to grubby faced Wild Childs bouncing around the grounds like superballs in fearless abandon, complete freedom and totally reckless disregard for anyone around them were enjoying the festivities very nearly equally along with just about every age in between.

Yes, that is a tree house. And, yes........those are adults sleeping in it.

Gai-jin were scarce and designer jeans, bags, shoes or accessories even scarcer which is truly, profoundly unusual for Kyoto but that complete lack of materialistic consumer worship in full public view was oddly comforting. It’s been a long while since I’ve seen a young woman who didn’t look like the clothes on her back cost as much as a good used car and while that’s always OK with me I have to admit it was somewhat pleasing for a change to see chicks going natural in terms of their fashion and the overall greed level was, perhaps subsequently, quite low.
My own contribution to the days grace was strictly monetary and quite minor- 2 coffees with 2 organic cornmeal breads to nosh while we ambled about (600 yen= $6), the coffee was excellent and on time, the cornbread surprisingly hearty and tasty. Don’t know why but organic beer (shudders) and tequila seemed to be quite popular but as I deteriorate I find it increasingly less attractive to drink during the day and so I generally save my drunken madness for when the sun goes all the way down but that didn’t stop the crowd from their liberal intake of spirits, smoke and relaxation so all was most definately well at Kyoto U.

On this lovely Spring day the vegan, all natural, group hug vibe was permeating the air along with another- more pungent and much more familiar- odor of sweet corruption which may have accounted for the sleepy, happy, bashful and dopey smiles (sorry… I couldn’t remember the other 3 dwarves) in evidence everywhere one cared to look and the odor was yet another very unusual occurrence around these parts (traditional Japanese being bizarrely adverse to artificial stimulation that doesn’t include alcohol) so credit to the Freaks where it is due- they flew their flags loudly and proudly and I for one was most happy for them and, incredibly, with them.
And my Brother from another Mother, Eric, would’ve deeply, deeply appreciated the lovely perfume in the air and felt……… right……………… at home!

As the sun slowly set the Band mounted the stage and (pedal powered) threw themselves into…………….don’t know…………………a song?

Good Christ! The “music” was an atonal nightmare
of limp dick twiddling, navel gazing stoner bullshit, including a fucking didgeridoo, but the lead singer (big ponytails and bigger smile) was quite possibly one of the most charismatic performers I have yet seen and he held the rapturous crowd in a loving thrall.

Final analysis- While normally I am most likely the guy manning the fire hose in these situations on Sunday I settled in and communed with my Hippie Brothers and Sisters with ease and significant satisfaction. No mean feat to me and all, and I mean all, credit to them. Don’t know how they make a living in this here day and age (or how I do either) but more power to each and every one.

I left thinking…………………………………….
What the fuck is so funny about peace, love and understanding?


Josie said...

Flower Children...I can definitely identify with their counterculture.
I enjoyed this story very much, very detailed and descriptive. "Haight-Ashbury" immediately came to mind and the pics are fantastic, well taken. Thanks for sharing your Sunday with your readers.

btw....I had a fantastic lunch enjoying your story.

lonely said...

>>As for me, I’m really more of an angry, alcohol swilling, fried cow eating, motorcycle loving misanthrope with no God, no patience and a rapidly aging appetite for destruction.

This part made me laugh!
I simply think the "HIPPIE" does not have to be what people usually get an idea out of. In the way, you are "HIPPIE",too.

cheesecake said...

I like your story and pictures.really enjoyed reading it! Thanks!

mrmook said...


the pleasure was all mine.