Archive for Politics

Chill, Hippies.

Hippies annoy me. I’m not talking about the politically-charged, Joe Cocker-loving, tie dye-wearing hippies of the ’60s. I’m referring to  the confused, politically-ignorant, Dave Matthews Band-idolizing, “legalizing Marijuana will save America” quoting, Birkenstock-flopping modern sort.

There was a time when hippies actually fostered positive discussion and action in our country. Nowadays, college-aged poser hippies often make America’s youth appear apathetic and misguided.

“Puffing the Magic Dragon,” wearing Che Guevara t-shirts (why?), disliking George W. Bush without legitimate reason (“he’s dumb” isn’t enough to justify your sentiment), and having a Bob Marley poster in your dorm room doesn’t qualify you as a “true” hippie. Actually, this just makes you a tool.

"Get Up, Stand Up" Now leave your dorm...

"Get Up, Stand Up" Now leave your dorm...

Today’s hippies are essentially walking contradictions of those from decades ago. Instead of taking to the streets with a united goal for change, many now stay home and bitch about problems they know, or do little about. Sadly, most of those who actually do possess knowledge fail to constructively apply it.

I believe that the single most powerful force inhibiting our nation’s political, social, and economic progress is our impracticality. It’s impractical to expect comprehensive reform overnight (with regard to any major issue, including health care, war, corporate greed, etc.). It’s even more so to anticipate action from others when you yourself are unwilling to make compromises.

Vegetarians criticizing meat-eaters for their roles in animal cruelty should instead preach support for the companies who do things more humanely. Environmentalists should put their money where their mouths are, and quit following Phish across the U.S. in their fume-emitting vans (how do all of these “hippie” folks afford tickets to all of these jam fests, anyway?).

Phishin' for Meaning?

Phishin' for Meaning?

Real hippies once knew how to blend their idealism with realism.  They stood together and illuminated a generation’s conscious restlessness through speech, song, and collectivization. To them, Dylan and Marley were ambassadors of compassion and peace, not just for the pot that they famously smoked.

College campuses were once the place for hippies to be themselves. Today, however, it seems like too many students are just the opposite.

Congressman King vs. The King of Pop

If you’re going to be a congressman, it helps to have a strong understanding of the law. Clearly, New York republican Peter King never read the memo.

Yes, Michael Jackson possibly committed acts of sexual molestation. And if so, the recently deceased pop icon is undoubtedly receiving too much favorable media coverage since his passing. But while Congressman King’s sentiment may be rational, he is in no position to be making these assertions. His recent anti-Jacko rant exploits the very media attention he’s criticizing by using the story of the year as fuel to draw attention to himself. More importantly, his words undermine the trust in the legal system we expect our elected legislators to fight for.

Sure, Michael Jackson was strange (sorry Reverend Al). He owned pet giraffes, named his kid Blanket, and once used the word “ignorant” 37 times in one sentence. And yeah, I’d rather be stuck on a ferris wheel with Kathy Griffin then share a bedroom with the guy. But he was NEVER convicted of a crime anywhere else but in The Court of Public Opinion.

Unfortunately, Congressman King also missed this memo.

To his credit, Peter King held nothing back. I admire politicians who aren’t afraid to speak their minds (unless, of course, they call Wasilla, Alaska home). But let’s take a look at a brief excerpt from his speech, shall we.

“This guy was a pervert, he was a child molester, he was a pedophile. And to be giving this much coverage to him day in and day out, what does it say about us as a country? I just think we’re too politically correct.”

I couldn’t agree more with Congressman King’s last sentence. We are, collectively, a nation suffering from too much political correctness. However, the media’s coverage of Michael Jackson’s death doesn’t help support this argument.

Bill Maher, one of my personal heroes (who ironically had his show Politically Incorrect canceled for being, well, too politically incorrect), once stated, “I always define political correctness as the elevation of sensitivity over truth.”

Heed these words, Congressman King, because M.J. was never truly guilty of anything. And watching your viral video, it’s hard to miss just how damn sensitive you appear.