But now it's 2004, and while hipsters have focused their ineffectual efforts toward more trendy causes, his holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, has continued to travel the globe spreading the Buddhist message of peace and compassion.
Although the "big hitter" himself won't visit Arizona for another 10 months, his message will be heralded by a local lama, the venerable ZaChoeje Rinpoche, and other members of Scottsdale's Emaho Foundation, at the Zone of Ahimsa: Sanctuary for Peace on Friday, December 10, at the Icehouse.
Spokesperson Lisa Meyer describes the fund raiser and cultural carnival as not only a celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Dalai Lama's winning of the Nobel Peace Prize, but as a way of spreading his teachings to the unenlightened.
"One of our mission statements is to protect Tibetan culture as well as promoting humanitarian causes," Meyer says.
In addition to a public reading of the Lama's acceptance speech, Tibetan monks will create a mandala, a large, intricate artwork made from multicolored sand depicting both the Earth in divine form and a path to an enlightened mind, housed within an authentic temple re-creation.
Other planned activities include a Tibetan bazaar; henna tattooing; the unveiling of a special installation by local artists such as Bruce and Karen Licher; and live performances by guitar guru William Eaton, the jazz trio Sonorous, acoustic songstress Lonna Kelley, and the tribal dance group Domba.
"We hope this brings attention back to Tibet and hopefully make a new group of people and students culturally aware," Meyer says.
If only the Beastie Boys show up.