Inside the Hippie Counterculture: Meet the ‘Bliss Ninnies’ [Video]

Inside the Hippie Counterculture: Meet the ‘Bliss Ninnies’ [Video]

Maybe brain damage is generational. By the looks of these photos, it’s possible. A photographer named Steve Schapiro has taken a ton of iconic photos at Burning Man and other festivals where today’s neo-hippie culture hang out. He calls them ‘Bliss Ninnies.’ How apropos. You literally can’t tell the difference between today’s hippies and those of the sixties. They’re weird, dirty, smelly, grunged out and whacked out. Except that today they are not as much into drugs. They prefer dancing, meditation and yoga. They all look like fruitcakes to me. Just sayin’.


From the Daily Mail:

A photographer famous for his iconic snapshots of the flower children of the 1960s, documents the hippies of today and their lives in and out of transformational festivals.

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In the book ‘In Bliss: An Exploration of the Current Hippie Counterculture & Transformational Festivals,’ Steve Shapiro, 80, zooms in on the modern day hippies he coins as being ‘bliss ninnies.’

Time reports that unlike the hippies of the past who popularized psychedelic drugs, the ‘bliss ninnies’ are focused on meditation, dancing, yoga, and other drug-free activities as a way to reach ecstatic states of joy.

The book, which came out this October and which can be purchased on Amazon, features images from festivals across the country such as the Burning Man festival, the Rainbow Gathering, and Electric Forest.

Bliss is a book ‘about people feeling and expressing joy,’ Schapiro told Time.

‘That’s how we saw it, and that’s what we were trying to express. What came out was just that joyous feeling,’ he says.

‘People come back every year just for that reason.’

Steve Schapiro toured hippie communities across America and Europe with his son Theophilus Donoghue who he says has been ‘very spiritual’ since the age of 23.

‘My son is very spiritual. He sort of guided me through it. He took a few pictures too, but basically it was his idea, and we had a great time doing it together,’ Schapiro says.

Schapiro said that going to community building festivals replaces religion for neo hippies.

‘The best expression I got was someone who told me, I’m not a Catholic, I’m not Baptist, I’m a Festivaltarian,’ Schapiro said.

‘And that really expressed it – it became almost like a religious experience for people in a way.

Also in the book are iconic photos from his 1967 book called ‘Hippie in The Haight,’ though Schapiro says that while the youths may look and dress similarly, the culture is much less drug-fueled today than it was back then.

‘I photographed Haight-Ashbury for LIFE Magazine in 1967, and it was a totally different spirit,’ Schapiro says.

‘At that time, very many people were into heavy drugs and all. And what’s different now is the values have changed very much, and the hippies today are much more into meditation and into organic food and into sort of ecstatic dancing in a way.’

Any excuse to be hedonistic and get naked will do I guess. I find it disturbing that people bring their children into this kind of lifestyle. They learn no morals, responsibility or ethics living like this. It’s all self-centered and aimed at self-gratification. What the heck is a Festivaltarian? Geez. Maybe they don’t need drugs… they live in an alternate reality and use delusion as a guideline. I still bet drugs and alcohol are playing into this. I mean, look at these people. Drum dancing, mass gatherings of naked hippies, weird attire and behavior… it’s like they are all on an acid flashback to Haight Ashbury in 1967. No thank you. The sociologists will be having a field day with these ninnies. It’s like studying a resurrected species.










Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton is an editor and writer for Right Wing News. She owns and blogs at She is a Constitutional Conservative and NoisyRoom focuses on political and national issues of interest to the American public. Terresa is the editor at Trevor Loudon's site, New Zeal - She also does research at You can email Terresa here. NoisyRoom can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

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