Saturday, September 8, 2007

Just for fun

I was going through my hard drive and came across some old papers I wrote for my Writing 102 class. These got a great reaction from my professor and fellow students, so I thought I'd post them here for everyone to enjoy. Keep in mind that these are all very ascerbic, and could be quite offensive. Before you flame me, keep in mind that, while these are all semi-serious, they were written for humorous effect. I'll be posting one essay per day for the next few days. Without further ado, here is the first of my essays:

Get Away From Me, You Dirty Hippy

On August 15, 1969, the unfortunate residents of upstate New York found their peaceful, quiet community had been invaded. The intruders were not a conquering army bent on pillage and plunder; they were creatures much more vile: hippies. A scant month after NASA had put men on the moon, thereby achieving mankind’s greatest technological triumph, the single largest gathering ever of subhuman bipeds took place. Woodstock, a three-day long “music” festival, was a critical mass of the worst elements of humanity.

Hippies have plagued civilization since the mid-1960s, when experimentation with drugs—especially hallucinogens like lysergic acid diethylamide-25 (LSD), psilocybin, and mescaline—became popular among American youth. Drugs are life’s blood and mother’s milk to the hippy. Places with a large hippy population, like California, are awash with marijuana, LSD, cocaine and various other drugs. Psychedelic drugs have inspired many of the defining characteristics of the hippy. Tie-dyed shirts, folk music and black-light posters are but a few of the common hippy’s psychedelically-inspired accoutrements.

Hippies can generally be found en masse in places like the University of California Berkeley campus, Earth Day rallies, Burning Man festivals and Grateful Dead or Phish concerts. In order to get a better understanding of hippies, it is necessary to observe them in their natural habitat, however unpleasant this may be. While the reasons for UC Berkeley’s great percentage of hippies is not fully known, it is suspected that some Californians who have enough money to send their hippy kids to college are often former hippies themselves, and consider sending their kids to UC Berkeley to be a sort of apprenticeship. Thus, an otherwise prestigious college becomes a kind of guild for the spoiled progeny of hippies who either grew up or got lucky. After a few semesters at UC Berkeley, a budding young drug addict is able to achieve the status of full-fledged hippy, just like his or her parents, thereby completing the cycle.

One of the hippy’s favorite pastimes is whining about the environment. In 1970, Earth Day was created as a way for hippies everywhere to whine together about the importance of pristine nature and the evils of industry and western civilization. While bitching about the environment is important to hippies, it is secondary to the consumption of mind-altering substances. Burning Man festivals and concerts for bands like the Grateful Dead and Phish are gathering places for masses of hippies who come with the intent of destroying the remnants of their brains with drugs and rambling, incoherent folk music.

The common hippy is not hard to detect. From afar, one can observe several common characteristics of a hippy. Volkswagen vans seem to be the hippy’s vehicle of choice, despite the automobile’s inefficiency and pollution output. Hippies tend to wear dirty, ill-fitting clothes, usually emblazoned with peace signs and often tie-dyed. Whether male or female, the hippy will have long, matted hair that looks as if it hasn’t been washed in months, and hippies of neither gender will be clean-shaven, perhaps because it is impossible to shave when you’re stoned out of your mind.

If one is unfortunate enough to come into close contact with a hippy, their distinct odor will be readily apparent. Hippies almost always smell like a combination of dirty clothes, body odor, pot smoke and incense. Female hippies will sometimes perfume themselves with patchouli oil, as though they don’t smell enough like moist dirt naturally. For those ill-fated souls who actually come into physical contact with a hippy, the hippy’s distinct texture will be noticed. Hippies very rarely exercise or shower, since both require effort, so they feel like slimy, gritty bean bags.

Under the laws of evolution, it is reasonable to expect that hippies would be an endangered species. Yet somehow, they have managed to survive and even thrive, like cockroaches in a nuclear winter. In a perfect world, hippies would either not exist at all, or they would be awkward teenagers going through a particularly stupid phase. In the real world, however, there are no easy answers to the hippy problem. Short of carpet-bombing Phish concerts and Earth Day rallies, we may have no choice but to wait until California breaks off of the North American continent and floats out to sea, never to return.

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