PAGE SIX EDITORIAL
When someone brought up the idea of doing an Alternative Lifestyles issue at a HIGH TIMES editorial meeting some time ago, the concept was received with a good deal of amusement. The entire magazine is devoted to the counterculture, after all, and alternative lifestyles is our regular beat. So if we did an alternative issue, wouldn’t that be alternatives to counterculture? Maybe it was the magic chocolate-chip cookies someone sent in....
While many of the ideas about alternative lifestyles generated during the acid-inspired, halcyon days of the late ’60s and early ’70s never developed past the embryonic stages or took root in mainstream culture the way a lot of us envisioned they could and should, during the past couple of decades there have been major—though often underpublicized—movements to retool traditional think-
ing in several areas. Medicine, for instance, has undergone a quiet revolution that has seen several alternative therapies move toward the mainstream. Though not nearly as great a dent has been made in the nuclear and fossil fuel industries, energy and transportation technology have both seen major innovations, and it may not be long before those innovations begin taking a large enough share of the market to have a real impact. And there are other areas where traditional Western thinking is undergoing major changes as well.
So the issue we’ve put together takes a look at a few of the real nuts-and-bolts alternatives to the entire paradigm of the prohibitionist juggernaut of Western civilization-alternatives in the realms of culture, technology, health and diet that affirm ecology and self-sufficiency. We had Malcolm Howard and Andre Grossmann look into vehicles that run on alternatives to fossil fuel. Sarah Ferguson headed out West to catch the Zippies—those media-prankster techno-hippies—try to get the world into World Unity Day. We also managed to get great photos of the offbeat Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert. And we sent Mike Niman—with Gabe Kirchheimer on lenses—down to The Farm, the oldest hippie commune in the USA, to get a look at how Stephen Gaskin and friends are holding up after all these years. We also came up with a terrific interview with author John Robbins, who beefs about the state of the American diet, and look at therapeutic alternatives to Western medicine. And we didn’t exactly skimp on the marijuana, either.
We think it’s one hell of an issue. Pass the cookies, please.