Quit Laughing: The Hippie Industry Is BoomingS

Everyone seems to think it's funny that UC Santa Cruz has a job opening for an official "Grateful Dead Archivist." But it's just the latest example of hippies riding high during the recession, floating on a cloud of groovy breaks.

The UC Santa Cruz job is no accident; it was made possible by a donation from the Dead themselves. And it's not just drug bands spreading counterculture good fortune these days:

  • Amid mass journalism layoffs, a new hippie-friendly type of gig has opened up: Pot reviewer. Denver's alt weekly went looking for just such a fellow, to serve the booming local market for "medical" marijuana.
  • Grungy well-heeled young music fans made this year's Coachella music festival a "super happy" success. Far out for concert organizers who refused to grow up and get a "real job!"
  • Vegan animal activist Jane Velez-Mitchell has a hit show over on CNN's Headline News and can now aspire to the even greater level of success attained by left-wing-radio-host-turned-MSNBC-anchor (and fellow lesbian) Rachel Maddow. (Maddow was a Rhodes scholar, putting her on the high achieving side of hippiedom.)
  • The White House installed an organic garden under lobbying from Alice Waters, delivering a PR victory to the restaurateur derided as a hippie "dreamer" on national television just days earlier.
  • In San Francisco, the sort of company that holds "naked" meetings and makes decisions through unanimous consensus is now showered with VC cash.
  • A protest marcher from a hippie college changed his name to the militant "Barack" from the placid "Barry" and was soon elected president of these United States.
  • If you advocate turning your cat vegan or making men pee while sitting down, for the environment, the New York Times will publish your op-ed, these days.

And all this time you thought "get a job" was the ultimate way to insult a hippie. Who's laughing now, straight edge??

(Pic via)