Dirty Hippy

If you’d asked me 20 years ago whether I was a hippy, I probably would have answered by blowing smoke in your face, or flagrantly eating some kind of meat product in front of you with great enthusiasm. Nowadays, I’m not quite that blatant. That’s not to say that I would retaliate subtly if you expressed contrary viewpoints, I’m saying that I wouldn’t at all. In fact, I embrace all viewpoints, be they contrary, or indeed, uncontrary.

What’s different? What has changed over the past 20 years to turn me from an obnoxious young upstart into some kind of human welcoming mat? The answer to these questions is quite obvious: Things. What kind of things? The answer to this question is not so obvious: many different kind of things. Confused? The answer to this question is slightly more than less obvious. Yes and/or no.

My point is… I’m not nearly as anti-hippy as I used to be. In fact, as time marches forward, as the grey hairs begin to show through the brown ones on my head, chest and inner nostrils, I am becoming more and more pro-hippy. So much so that I will be voting for the Green Party at the upcoming election. The collective groan of a million conservatives has just risen up from the depths. Oh god, not another one! Yes, another one. Questions are being asked, eyebrows raised… Why the Greens? Why now. Let me answer those questions with a short, yet long explanation…

I want children. I want those children to enjoy living in the world. I want to be a grand-daddy. I want my grandkids to be able to see a polar bear, panda or elephant in some kind of natural habitat and not in a zoo or David Attenborough documentary (I must point out here that I don’t expect this great naturalist to live well into the 21st century – but I am expecting his style of doco to). I want my kids to look at China as an innovator of food and electronics, not a country that spits tonnes of carbon per second into the atmosphere and poisons babies with tainted milk. I want my kids to be able to enjoy an untainted wilderness when they borrow the car to head up to Lovers’ Point for a quick pash with their special friend.

The Greens are the only party that talk the talk. Nobody else in leadership in our world cares about anything beyond the next shareholders meeting or general election. It’s about returns to shareholders or boosting your percentage of the party vote, not about worrying what will happen years after they are out of their community leadership roles. The Greens will be getting my vote at the next election.

The question you are probably asking now is: How green are you Mr Boon? So yes, I own a car, which I drive. However, I live 10 minutes walk from where I work, so I walk every day. Well, almost. Sometimes, on a Friday, I will take the car to work because Mrs. Boon and I like to do our weekly shop on a Friday afternoon.

If you were a proper hippy you wouldn’t own a car, idiot. That’s probably a fair point. If I was a proper hippy I would probably live in the countryside in some kind of mud house growing my own veges and chickens – living off the land being as self sustaining as possible. My hair would be matted with years of outside living and I would smell of hemp tea and incense.

But I live in a rented flat in the centre of Auckland – the biggest city in New Zealand. Our backyard is the size of a single bedroom and is mostly concrete, so we can’t plant much. I have built (with my own hands) a planter box so we will be enjoying our own organic herbs and the odd homegrown lettuce. So there.

Until we can afford to buy our own piece of land maybe with a house, being totally sustainable is but an unaffordable dream… So does that make me a hypocrite? Probably, the world won’t survive on good intentions. But surely if everyone thinks the same way, and does all they can to sustain themselves with homegrown food, solar or wind generated on their own land – that sort of thing – then my kids will grow up to know what it is to have a secret pash in an electric car…

Or we could all die next week when that partical accellerator in Europe goes mental and creates a black hole under Switzerland…