I’m sure many of you know this book, and yes, this book arrived on shelves decades ago, but I never knew the real hippies. I was born in 1969, and by the mid 70’s it was all beginning to come crashing down.
From a more dictionary perspective…Hippies felt alienated from middle-class society, which they saw as dominated by materialism and repression, and they developed their own distinctive lifestyle. They favoured long hair and casual, often unconventional, dress, sometimes in “psychedelic” colours.
The only hippies I’ve ever known were the fake hippies of today, who actually talk about all the stuff in the definition above but then pile in their brand new Range Rovers and speed off to the Apple store where they buy the screen that allows them to fully explore the sordid depths of materialism. So when I read Tom Wolfe’s book, “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” the idea that I walk away with is commitment. Regardless of how I feel about the hippies, the real ones at least displayed a level of commitment that is truly commendable. Many of these people left “normal” lives for the belief in a new consciousness, which might not seem like a big deal but it is. Taking chances isn’t easy. Some took these chances and never came back. Others changed the world.
Wolfe has a unique writing style, which is very much on display in this book, something I have great appreciation for.