There were many ways to try to get across what was going on- like the term mind expansion! or that we were blown away, ripped, tripped out, tripping, freaking, freaked out, gorked, zonked, blasted, high, gassed, juiced, bombed, righteous, flying, turned on, rushing, out of sight, groovin, in the groove, digging it (can you dig it?), mellowed out, stoned, stoned out of your/my/our gourd(s), smashed, flipped out. You were either tuned in or tuned out, turned on or square, on the bus or off the bus. You made the scene, and were part of the happening, the teach-in, the love-in, the be-in, or the sit-in. You were blown away or maybe you just split. You might be ragged on or hassled by the unhip or by anyone or anything's bad vibes. Good vibrations, however, were a magnet. You could grok the vibes, man and just groove with it. The hipsters became hippies. The beatniks became beatles.
We snorted, toked, bogarted and stepped on various substances. It was cool to drop. It was also ok to drop out. It was a bad scene when someone got busted. Uncool to get caught holding. Some people were narcs!
The term psychedelic was invented to describe the effect of mind expanding drugs. It was easy to go over the edge- spaced out, freaked out,uptight, bummed or bummer, bad trip, rip off, and downer described the trip or tripper when it was not going so well.
We were in a new game with new bags to get into or out of. Hang ups were to be avoided, hanging out was what you did. You did your THING.
Words that referenced women were also curious. Old lady is my favorite- at once hip and quaintly precious. We were chics and birds, too. Not very liberating. Women were also heads, but that term was reserved as a reference to men only. Hmm. We wore granny dresses, Native American beads and love beads, macrame vests and bags, bell bottoms, India cloth shirts, embroidered clothes galore, and costumes of all imaginable types.
Things were hip, cool, rich, far out, freaky, kinky, geaky, weird, strange and free. Our minds were to be open- thus the term head. We tried to set our souls free. We let our hair grow and refused to wear bras or make up (didn't need it back then anyway). We raised our consciousness. We protested and marched. We took to the streets. Theatre and politics were one. Guerilla theatre! Bring it back!
We had the Gong Show- have you ever seen it? Compare to Idol. Says it all.
We had black lights and strobe lights. We painted everything Day-glo colors. We flashed the peace sign and posted the peace sign.
You know what is striking about the birth of all these new ways of expression? The only way to say love is still love. All you need, after all, is love.