Hippie + Hippie = Yippie (+boundaries)

Hippies swimming at a Nimbin swimming hole.
Hippies swimming at a Nimbin swimming hole.

India Morris grew up in a lentil-eating, tamborine-shaking hippie household where (almost) anything went.  But as an adult she’s found, somewhat to her surprise, she has no desire to live in a tipi, and as for carob…

In the name of good will and clarity amongst friends I feel the need to start this rave with a disclaimer:


As a native hippie (someone who was born into a hippie family and therefore had no choice in living out their childhood subjected to all of the associated floral painted, sarong wearing, lentil flavoured, tambourine shaking social stigma) it is my birth right to:

A) Pick and choose which aspects of hippie life I will or will not tolerate

B) Be entirely inconsistent with said picking and choosing 

C) Mercilessly take the absolute piss out of anything and everything that hippies stand for before participating fully in any or all of the things I have just taken the piss out of without remorse or apology. All second-generation hippies share this right and it is our hope that the wider community will come to appreciate our unique position without taking offence or ever thinking they can join in the hippie sledging themselves because that would be bad. Very very bad.

(Disclaimer for the disclaimer:
It’s slightly possible that I don’t speak for 100% of second-generation hippies.)

I am half hippie on my parent’s side but I don’t formally identify as hippie. You see, an anomaly occurs when two hippies breed and instead of achieving the expected outcome of hippie + hippie = hippie, you in fact get a kind of hybrid throwback subcultural mutation. We are kind of yuppies but we’re sort of hippies. We are an under-represented sub-group known colloquially as the ‘yippie’. We are comfort hogs. We are more middle class than the middle class and our parents, quite frankly, are aghast. For all their great intentions, the first wave of hippies bred an entire generation with a fetish for electricity, running water and boundaries – yes, you heard me right – boundaries. We don’t have romantic visions of living in tipis, yurts or shacks held together with mud and a promise of future labour, largely because we already know about the mould.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret the years I spent living in a tent or bathing in a glorified bucket with water that was only hot during summer daylight hours and washing myself with whatever soap the bush turkeys hadn’t eaten. I liked sharing my kitchen with land mullets and, as I near my 40s, I am nearly used to snakes.


I am sincerely grateful for my parent’s generation who pioneered the hippie dream. They saved important forests and fought for rights that I now take for granted. They gave us a social conscience and taught us about diversity and walking our talk. But most importantly they invented solar power systems that actually work, composting toilets that don’t smell and they have forced environmentally sustainable products into the mainstream so that us yippies can stand by our principles without compromising our deep seated need for comfortable housing. As soon as my generation began to enter maturity the communes began rapidly evolving from an eclectic array of huts, tree houses and humpies, barely distinguishable from the bush outside (often because the bush outside was also growing inside), to a stunning collection of well insulated mansions and studios surrounded by low maintenance gardens and lawns bordered by sub-tropical rainforest.

The deviation from our trail blazing parents by no means ends with comfortable houses either. Most of our parents are grandparents now and they can’t believe how stitched up we’ve become! They spent all of those years modelling a new parenting style of trust and freedom, allowing us to fully experience our childhood without the controlling, rule obsessed upbringings that they endured. They nurtured our free spirits only to have their very own rainbow children start using this bloody “boundaries” word to such excess that they just can’t understand where they went wrong. Hippie grandparents try to sneak in feral, free-range mischief the way our grandparents used to try to sneak chocolate and Barbie dolls into our sugar free, body positive humpies. But we don’t have free-range children. We don’t have free-range children because we were free-range children and we know exactly what free-range children get up to! I love catching up with my old yippie friends just so we can drink tea in our comfortable, open plan kitchens and wonder to each other how we ever survived our childhoods. And if only those well meaning, baby booming, drop out parents of ours really knew what we did with our free-range adolescence!

India's childhood home - a 'Hippie hut'  deep in the rainforest...

India Morrris’s childhood home – a ‘Hippie hut’ deep in the rainforest…

Yippies are not immediately recognisable like our hippie counterparts. We don’t wear flares or headbands and we have traded in all of the “groovy’s” and “far out’s” for a more conservative vernacular. Our most distinguishable feature is our special brand of cynicism. We wear our antagonistic worldview on our sleeves like a beacon of hope to other survivors of the badly cooked tofu era. We have now integrated into wider society so our little flags of fond derision can be found hiding where you least expect them. Like the popular café in town for instance where our favourite second gen barista wears a T-shirt with Soy won’t save you! printed proudly across the front as he smiles and makes your soy latte. We love to hang out on our designer lounges and entertain each other by adopting a satirical hippie patois and laughing until our stomachs hurt. “Hey sister, did you hear about the sacred squawking seagull healing space for womb magic? They do this really powerful detox with a seaweed head wrap and organic slug exfoliation ritual that will totally fix your third eye myopia.”

It’s not that we necessarily reject the value of all that mumbo jumbo, breathing from your base chakra, inner child clap trap. We don’t in all seriousness begrudge anyone the right to whatever personal benefits they derive from their new age practices and potions, we probably even believe in some of them, it’s just that we’ve been over exposed. Young people from every sub culture need to rebel and for us that meant rallying against all of those earnest lectures about inner beauty and intensely awkward workshops where our elders tried to connect with us using sacred chanting and heart sounds. This natural need to rebel has nurtured in us a powerful satirical response that I for one am genuinely grateful for! Our hippie parents have given us a lifetime of comedic material and in doing so have made the world a funnier place for their children and their children’s children.


Now let me just reiterate my disclaimer disclaimer, although I like to think that most of my yippie brothers and sisters are nodding in agreement while they casually press the preferred setting on their latest energy efficient dishwasher, I know that I can’t speak for each and every member of my generation. I know that each of us has a personal variant on the yippie theme and some of us still encourage drumming circles, while others still love lentils the way mum used to make them. I will however address one important yippie issue that I can confidently say stands for all of us. I can assert with absolute certainty that none of us, not a godamn single little one of us, will ever truly get over the deep and hurtful betrayal of sugarless carob Easter eggs!!



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