I was having coffee with my old friend Salman last night. We first met sometime around the mid-nineties when he was hiding out in Port Elizabeth (and let’s face it – if you want to give the appearance of having vanished off the face of the earth for a while, PE is a pretty good place to do it). He’s been living here for several years now and although I’m not 100% sure what prompted his move to the Fairest Cape, I suspect that the Eastern Province Herald may have been onto him. He just couldn’t resist writing letters to the editor pointing out their more obvious editorial and journalistic blunders.
The conversation turned (as it is wont to do) to hippies. A disturbing situation has begun to emerge in Cape Town: Hippies are everywhere. I’m not just talking about the stereotypical long-haired, vacant-eyed, sandal-wearing, deodorant-shunning type of hippy that we all know and love. I’m also referring to the more worrying type of credulous, crystal-owning pseudo-hippy with a day job. The sort who isn’t quite ready to go the whole hog, but is nevertheless willing to swallow any kind of new-age nonsense that a magic rock salesman wearing a tie-dyed muumuu is able to dish up.
Look, I don’t want to piss on anyone’s beliefs here, but if someone – even if he has a really cool hippy-guru name like Zandro of the Blue Morning or some such – tries to sell you a piece of laminated cardboard that will “block cellphone radiation”, it is still (in Salman’s immortal words) a load of balls.
No matter how compelling the explanation about how “the Zeta Pattern disrupts the bad energy by transmogrifying it into positive Brainiola Waves” may be, the item on offer is still not going to shield your cerebellum from anything other than coherent thought. It is particularly ironic that the brain of the hippy who would typically be taken in by this sort of claptrap seems to recognise (on a subconscious level, at least) that it needs all the protection it can get.
What bothers me the most is that while other people are happily making money out of all this stupidity, I haven’t quite figured out the trick yet. What bothers Salman the most is that he personally knows a lot of hippies.