International Hippie experts are at odds over the causes, but all agree that the once thriving Hippie population of San Pedro de Atitlán is in serious decline.
Bernard Simpkins of the International Hippie Observational Consortium (IHOC) stated at a recent press conference that, “…unless radical steps are taken to support the San Pedro Hippie, this once noble creature my go the way of the dodo bird and the digitally animated polar bear.”
The press conference came at the end of a creatively planned – but poorly organized – three day “World Hippie Forum.”
“We really should have thought about sanitation. I mean, our field of expertise is the legendarily dirty Hippie… you’d think that we wouldn’t have missed that one…” said Simpkins.
On the Streets:
On Saturday, forum participants interacted with several dozen common street Hippies that had been trapped for the event. Simpkins assured this interviewer that no Hippies were harmed in the course of their capture.
“We used a standard hash-tar box trap,” he said as he flipped a piece of banana bread into one of the Hippie’s mouths. “Both IHOC and the WHF have taken a strong stand against any form of Dredlock trapping. We’re here to protect the Hippies, not harm them.”
Simpkins paused, scratched a Hippie behind the ears and said, “Beautiful creatures, aren’t they? They’ll be given a full physical, tagged and then released Monday morning.”
When asked by a passerby why, exactly, one would want to preserve the Hippie population of San Pedro, Simpkins went on the offensive.
“Why?” he shouted, “Why do people consider these glorious animals to be nothing more than pests or vermin?” Pointing directly at the questioner, and with a look of righteous zealotry in his eyes, Simpkins issued a challenge. “Name for me one, just one animal that is as adept at co-opting and trivializing the traditions and art forms of non-Western cultures as the Hippie? Think about the thigh band tattoo once found exclusively on the Marquesian Islands that told of a family’s battle history? What of the Celtic braid, first used by Irish artists to represent the unending indefinable? Or the Navaho dream catcher? Without the intervention of the hippie, these cultural signifiers would have maintained their meaning, their significance. But now, they are widely available to the global human population, bereft of their unnecessary baggage and significance. The noble Hippie, transforms any society it touches. It commodifies culture! It brings the world to you!”
The questioner looked in this reporter’s direction, rolled his eyes and made a swirly motion around his ear with his right index finger before proceeding to walk down the hill, away from the press conference, and into the first bar he passed.
On Sunday evening several members of the Venezuelan delegation reported a sighting of four wild adolescent male Hippies playing hacky-sack, laughing, and repeatedly brushing their hair out of their eyes.
Parker Gorman, an expert on the Central Asian Desert Hippie claimed to have communicated with a mid-twenties, female Israeli Hippie. However, his claims to have “gotten her cell number” were viewed with deep suspicion when Gorman failed to convincingly imitate their distinctively call when challenged by other experts.
Three representatives of the Coalition for the Renaming of Children Victimized by Hippie Mom’s were observed from afar while they were counseling two local Hippie pups, Star Rover Berkowitz and Forest Oak Isaacson.
In the Conference Rooms:
While events on the street were, by turns, baffling and colorful, pungent and poignant, inside the chamber’s darkened conference rooms real work was being done.