When the Man comes around

Following their recent emergency council, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has finally published a long and comprehensive report on what it considers to be the “most dangerous, virulent and corrosive threat to the planet”: Neo-Hippies.

Yes, friends, there is no doubt – that old form of pot-smoking, foul-smelling, tree-hugging, know-it-all, smug species has unfortunately mutated into a new breed after lying dormant for a couple of decades now. It now appears that we have been deceived into thinking that the original Hippie form (see figure) has been confined in protected habitats like Paris, Amsterdam, San Fransisco and Israel, posing no immediate threat following its 60’s-70’s epidemic that left thousands permanently afflicted with Abruptus Disillusionus and Dopus Smokepotius – both enormous burdens on society and international economy.

But we were wrong; lulled into a false sense of security and capitalism, while newer types of the Hippy virus (also known as the John Lennon disease) have now been confirmed in areas where such cases were previously unthought-of. The Neo-Hippy viral strain (NHV; aka Michael Moore disease) is now a progressively global phenomenon.

As a course of action, the WHO has proposed the tracking-down and quarantining of “cluster points”; regions where NHV infestation is highest. Preliminary data suggest that regions with an average index of 750 milli-Hippies (1 Hippy = 1,000 milli-Hippie’s or 2 Bob Dylan’s) and above are in danger of becoming “breeding nexi” of NHV. A good example is right here in Bradford, UK, where the University of Bradford’s Peace Studies Department (NHV Index = 0.43 Mega-Hippy or 36.4 Woodstocks) has attracted an enormous clustering of individuals already affected with NHV or in high risk of contracting it.

NHV carriers are harder to spot than their predecessors. For example, their scent is often similar – and often better – to that of healthy individuals. Clothing has also been camouflaged to blend in with the unaffected population – gone are the red shades, flower-power coveralls, bare feet and joint-behind-the-ear fashions. No, NHV patients cannot be spotted with ease, but, fortunately, some distinguishing marks still remain. Here is a list, adapted from that compiled by the WHO:

  1. Neo-Hippies, much like the original type, tend to live in clusters and avoid solitude.
  2. NHV clusters will also cause a decrease in environmental IQ.
  3. Love for bad music still remains – listen for anything promoting “rebellion” (Gwen Stefani), “standing up to the Man” (Marilyn Manson) and general stupidity (Gwen Stefani).
  4. Watch for elevated levels of smugness – a classic sign.
  5. MTV is the new Woodstock.
  6. Though not definite, generic filth and bad odour can be trusted to lead to Neo-Hippies, especially in student areas. Be careful though, as most students smell bad too.

A novel type of NHV-carrier, the Know-It-All (KIA) Neo-Hippy can be spotted in Starbucks cofee houses, usually consuming soy lattes or something vegetarian and “fair”-trade. Look for smart dressing, goatees, berets, “ethnic” dress-up, and the presence of “sophisticated” literature (Marx, Nietzsche, Chuck Palahniuk, Bret Easton Ellis, Harry Potter) in the immediate vicinity. (NOTE: KIA hippies actually need to undertake some form of undemanding education beforehand, about which they will whine and brag incessantly. Further research is underway.)

So now the war is brought to us. What can those still unaffected by this horrid disease do to prevent the wild spread of this plague? Clearly weapons of the past (pictures of Nixon, Vietnam recruitment pamphlets, Jon McCarthy) are no longer effective, since the NHV has shown increased resistance to any form of historical lessons – however, because the original genetic material core has not been altered, there is hope that similar, contemporary means can be of use.

As a biologist, it is my solemn duty to give you some tips in this battle, drawn from long experience. Here they are:

  1. If you come into contact with an NHV-carrier, close your ears and hum a national anthem – any will do, but the US one seems to be most effective.
  2. In cases of large infestation, use of “angry” heavy-metal music (Marilyn Manson, Slayer, Justin Timberlake) has been shown to disperse even the thickest drum circles. Alternatively, “evil corporate” music (Madonna, Sugababes, Marilyn Manson, Slayer, Justin Timberlake) might also work, but the effects are inversely proportional to the NHV’s age.
  3. Do not, under any circumstances engage an NHV carrier in political conversations of any kind. Especially avoid the Middle-Eastern, Israel, the US, the UK, Martha Stewart, Iraq, Big Brother and Dan Rathers – in fact, don’t engage them in conversation at all.
  4. If you come across distraught or angry NHV’s (a very common state), don’t say things like “Oh, you look sad… do you want a hug? ‘Cause there’s some trees out back.” Your chances of survival are slim.
  5. If possible, immunise yourself against NHV by undertaking a PhD in Science – though not exempt from contamination, Science is still “too real” for NHV’s.
  6. When surrounded and ONLY AS A LAST RESORT, scream things like “George W. Bush is the best thing since Nixon” or “I support the war”, or “Long live the Establishment”. Again, such action should be reserved for the utmost time of need, although admittedly, it is fun to watch them MELT.

We can only hope that, in time, we shall overcome. Because I had a hammer, and I heard something and, stop, listen, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going ’round.

Peace out.

This message was brought to you by The Man.

The Man: I’m still here, and Johnny Cash ain’t. Who da man, Johnny? Who da MAN?

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