(Hoo hoo hoo! Looks who’s back! That byline is correct. We told you this anniversary would be special. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back to the Cru Jones Society: Senor Limon!)
Those who know me well can attest to the fact that for many years the two things I really despise in this world are hippies and babies. They both smell bad, they’re incapable of cleaning themselves, neither have jobs and they both basically sit around all day doing nothing with some kind of entitled expectation to have everything they need in the world provided for them. I suppose that if I had to choose between living with a baby and living with a hippie, I’d probably choose the hippie because if I neglected to take care of a hippie and it died, I probably wouldn’t have to go to jail. It would still be a close call.
I lived and worked for about four years in southern Arizona a stone’s throw away from Mexico very near a little desert hippie hamlet called Bisbee. Old Bisbee is a quirky and sleepy town with a bit of a tourist vibe, lots of strange old buildings, narrow streets and thousands and thousands of stairs winding through a town that was constructed around 1900 nestled in a narrow valley supporting a copper mining operation in the area that persisted through the 1980s. At some point, the copper ran out and the mining company left leaving nothing but some rusting equipment, a gigantic hole in the ground, and a few steaming slightly radioactive piles of molten slag dotting the landscape. Before long, for one reason or another the town became populated by a bunch of hippies who were basically just trying to get as far away from everything as they possibly could so they could mind their own business making clay pots, finger-painting, smoking pot and generally not wearing shoes.
After a couple years I began to appreciate Bisbee for what it was. Instead of the trust fund white kids in dreadlocks playing hacky sack in the park and generally pissing away every advantage their parents worked their entire lives to give them that I knew from my youth, the denizens of Bisbee just wanted to be left alone to do their own thing. Nobody was more surprised than I when I actually grew to prefer the Bisbee hippies to the white trash nut jobs riding four wheelers everywhere and grocery shopping with a .45 strapped to their hip. Communal living, peace, free love and all that crap may not be my bag of tricks, but at least the people in Bisbee were walking the walk.
Now I live and work in Salt Lake City which isn’t exactly a bastion of liberalism, but in reaction to the oppressive conservatism here, the counter culture is just that much fucking weirder. The punk rockers are even punker, the gays are even gayer, and the hippies are even more infuriating than I could have ever imagined. I work right downtown, which means I’ve had a front row seat to this year’s 99% movement along with every other little blip on the radar that stirs up the unwashed activists and causes them to spill out into the public with their acoustic guitars and handwritten signage. Gone is the quiet dignity of Bisbee, Arizona, and back are the snot -nosed jackasses who abhor the concepts of hard work, self determinism, and personal hygiene that spawned the original ire of my youth.
Despite how the previous screed may have sounded, I really do consider myself an open-minded and easy-going guy. But I take serious issue when a bunch of people who aren’t really too sure what it is they’re angry about decide they’re going to stick it to the man by camping out somewhere for a month or so. Or, in the baffling case of what happened in California, really sticking it to those 1% rich jackasses and blockading a busy shipping port and depriving hundreds or thousands of blue collar workers the opportunity to provide for their families.
I don’t hate what the Occupiers stand for (whatever that may be), but I am frankly ashamed that prior generations of Americans rallied for things like freedom from oppression, women’s suffrage, and Civil Rights, and the best thing my generation can come up with is to get sort of angry at rich people for making more money than them. Dagger talked at length a while back about the nature of this kind of entitled behavior, and I won’t belabor the point other than to say that I am continually amazed at my generation’s ability to act like everyone deserves everything for free all the time.
We’d all be better off if everyone took a shower and got a job, or maybe just take off to the middle of nowhere in Arizona or something. Either way, the 99% is giving hippies a bad name.
07 Mar 2012 Senor Limon