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4 Comments

  • Far out, man. I have fond memories of hippies from growing up in the 1970s (probably better memories than the hippies themselves have, but that’s another story) but they became a real enemy for those involved in punk and post-punk music who saw them as the epitome of all that was wrong with the music and cultural scene of the late 1970s.

    It’s a shame really, as hippie values were often pretty sound ones and not that far apart from those of punks in many ways.

    Was “the man” and the concept of “sticking it to the man” around back in the hippie days, Michael or has this been a more recent development?

  • Hey, I found this post very interesting. I was drawn in by the link to this blog and how it said it was “A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language.” I am a student at Chapman University and have created a blog for a class I am currently enrolled in. I would value your input on my blog. I talk about how people interact with each other daily is changing. Have a look and http://andretart.wordpress.com/ Thanks!

  • Dan: i think the use of ‘man’ you refer to is probably more recent. One of the countless definitions of ‘man’ in the Urban Dictionary (not recommended) says: ‘An unseen political force which watches and oppresses everyday people.’ Is that close to the idea you’re referring to? In the late sixties (as well as being a general term of address for males) ‘the man’ or ‘your man’ was also a drug dealer (as in the Velvet Underground song ‘I’m waiting for my man’). Hope that helps!

  • Just a couple of notes: “Man” in hippie parlance began as the equivalent of today’s “Dude”, as in “Hey man, let’s smoke this shit.” Like many hippie expressions and terms, it originated with the beatniks of the late 1940s and 1950s. However, its use changed in the manner outlined by Michael Rundell, above. The evolution of language is fascinating, indeed.

    You might be interested in my new book, PROMISED LANDS Growing Up Absurd in the 1950s and ’60s. It’s a hippie memoir about life in small town Ontario and the story of my travels in Europe and the Middle East 1966-70. Readers Reviews on Amazon are all 5-star.