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Not sure why, but somehow Jews have totally co-opted the hippie movement. Go to any Phish concert, and at least three-quarters of the audience will be Jewish guys with full beards and a mess of curls on their heads. Go to any college campus on a warm day, and chances are, there will be a bunch of barefoot Jews sitting around in a circle with a couple guitars singing Grateful Dead and Bob Marley songs.
And despite the fact that many of these Jewish hippies, or Jewpies, if you will, come from comfortable middle class families, they act like they were born dirt poor. So how can you explain such a disconnect? Maybe because one of the founders of the hippie movement, Abbie Hoffman, was also a Jew from a comfortable middle class family who acted like he was born dirt poor.
Hoffman was an endless advocate of the hippie lifestyle, even writing a book about it that is regarded as the hippie’s guide to life. In Steal this Book, Hoffman advises readers on doing all things hippie-ish: growing marijuana, getting free stuff, joining a commune, rebelling against authority, and, as the title implies, trying to overthrow corporate America. And in typical hippie-critical fashion, Hoffman’s book became a best seller, making its already comfortable author even more comfortable.
Full confession time. I’m actually a bit of a hippie-crit myself. I have a mess of curls on my head, sometimes have a beard, attended Phish concerts, and have read and agreed with many of the points in Steal this Book. But if Hoffman’s legions of followers can look past his hippie-critical ways, I hope you forgive my transgressions as well.