Heralding the Old Freaks
What’s a baby-boomer to do?
As a teen, just being out after curfew was prohibitive, but we did it. I’m just flashing back here, as I write, remembering walking late at night down the middle of Mingus Road in Michigan with my girlfriend and dropping my shorts, all that I wore. It was rock star lack of underwear. If it was cool for Mick, then cool for me. The experience felt outrageous and the next step in my evening’s liberation.
It was freeing to do something “crazy.” Jumping out of constrictions, out of conventional uniform, was an increment of “crazy.” That was a part of hippie garb back when. It was different and naked was just one more bold step.
I had a friend from Wisconsin that wore a “Who” style jumpsuit, always. If anyone of us said anything, any hint, he would seize the moment and that long zipper and jump right out of it. He’d do it just for the excitement, the “crazy,” proudly the “freak.” To freak in an “uptight” conventional world, to be free of social convention, not to be robots of commercial fashion, to experiment, was cool.
It wasn’t rebellious, or anti-social, or doing the opposite. That is the “anti.” It was instead liberation that we felt, a rejection of repression, throwing off the shackles, the expectations, the mindless conformity, the blind patriotism and as we saw it, the boring channeled road of life that was being thrust upon youthful expression and true freedom. The establishment was in the way of change. So, we freaked out.
It was an expression of individualism, thumbing a nose at the idea of anti-social. Instead, we just turned our backs on it and did what we felt good doing. We did this often, either …
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