On Embracing Hippiness
[ Re: Feature, "Somewhere Under the Rainbow," July 16-22] As a child of "hippy" parents, I have always felt the dichotomy of the hippy label: substance abuse and laziness on one side; on the other, sustainability, creativity, healing and spirituality. I hide my colorful side sometimes, not wanting to be judged by those darker qualities. I went with some trepidation to the Gathering because of this duality. Immediately on arrival, I relaxed into appreciation. As we lugged five cases of Thai Baby coconuts in, strong guys came running up to help us. I began to feel at "home": Here were other creative, generous and loving people! Exploring with my 3-year-old proved the magic of the Gathering; we found many positive scenes to dip into. We relied on intuition and connection to plan and find the right place/time; much better than cell phones! We stayed cozy under beautifully constructed shelters in rain, then enjoyed the warm sun, soft earth and bug-free fresh air. We marveled at exquisite meals: raw "pizza," sushi, Thai curry, pancakes ... . We enjoyed heartsongs, yoga, contact dance and met amazing people from all over who are contributing to our society positively. Life felt simple and loving, knowing that the artistic earth ovens, healing treatments, permaculture workshops and jazz brunch weren’t just for profit but inspired by a common vision. I avoided some of the wilder areas, though we met a reporter whose article on homeless Rainbow teens filled me with compassion toward the very folks I’d been avoiding. I’m sorry to read Maren's accounts; in life, we attract our experience based on our perspective. Though hard to leave, on returning I am embracing hippiness; I feel more willing to shine. We left refreshed, renewed and ready do our work in the world. I like this definition I heard there: Happy Intelligent Person Pursuing Infinite Enlightenment.
A Note on Cross-Dressing
After I read the interview I did with Marisa Demarco [ News Feature, "The Politics of Pronouns," July 23-29] , I realized that I misspoke when referring to cross-dressers and received many letters to that effect. People cross-dress for a variety of different reasons, one of which if fetishistic. In my interview, it was not my intention to imply that all cross-dressers dressed purely for sexual gratification or to question motivations for doing so. The vast majority cross-dress to express feminine or masculine identities. I sincerely apologize for any offence my statement may have caused.
[Re: Feature, Freedom of Speech Issue, July 2-8] The Alibi loves The Don's letters and antics. No doubt he’s amusing—he’s crazy. No one could deny that. His letters are always good for a laugh even though they're predictable. But has the Alibi considered what happens after The Don? Where would you look for a replacement as outlandish as The Don? Has there been any discussion of cloning him or growing organs to replace his failed ones? What about freezing his head until such time it can be reattached to a robot? But, having been freed from his need to forage nuts and berries, would he go on a murderous rampage of revenge to destroy mankind for forcing him to wear clothing in public? The Alibi has a great deal at stake. As The Don goes, so goes the Alibi.
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter. Word count limit for letters is 300 words.