Too Old to Be A Hipster

I wish I wasn't so opinionated.  I'm really not that difficult to please. I like good food, I like my jokes to be occasionally laughed at, and I like to be comfortable. That's basically about it.

But I'm tired of other people's garbage ending up in my yard. That was a metaphor, although I do hate it when litter ends up in my yard that is not from my garbage can. I wish I could live in harmony with the rest of society, but why does the rest of society have to be so IN YOUR FACE.

Let me explain what I'm talking about.

Today my sister invited us to hear her perform musically during a block party in a "revitalized" part of Eugene. The Whitaker area. The area is, how you say, counter-culture. I've been to the area many times, as it is only four minutes from my house, but it doesn't offer the type of lifestyle I find enjoyable.  The supermarket only offers local produce and oddly packaged foodstuffs at exorbitant prices. This market, however, does offer four different homemade peanut butter dispensers. So it's good for that. The rest of the businesses are similarly kitschy and organic.

In reality, the area is like to a foreign nation bizarre where everything is alright and kind of exotic, but not really your cup of tea. This area also has a tea bar, so yeah.  Generally, the area looks dingy.  Most establishments use recycled goods in their restaurants and shops. Most chairs are wooden benches or something a metal-welder artist couldn't sell back to a scrapper. It's very artistic in the wrong ways.

I think this Whitaker Area Mural sums up the area perfectly.
Naked Tarot Card women living harmoniously with Native Americans.  

So when I decided to go to the function, I was going to support my sister, not the event.

Now offered in overly revealing shorts!
What I found was a poorly planned event full of profiteers and weirdos. I'm trying not to be judgmental,  I really don't mind hippies, hipsters, grunge-mongers, pot-heads, DKs, college-kid dropouts, intellectual wannabes, and slutty biker chick rejects; but all in the same place at the same time? I get anthropophobic around so much pseudo-culteralism. I've tried very hard to pretend that people's isms don't bother me in the last ten years, but when their looks/smells/attitudes/actions are physically annoying to me, I can't hold back my sneer face.

At least ten times I saw women's buttocks (partially). I can't stand this new fad of girls wearing 1980s mom jeans with the high waist that immediately end where their gluteus maximus meats meets their thigh. As a man, I should love this...but something about the whole look is just...wrong. Maybe its because as a man, I can't NOT look at this (even with it's super unsexy appeal); and days when I'm with my kids and wife equates a lose-lose situation. Can't we all agree that nobody likes this look?

This poster screams: Drugs encouraged!
Numerous times the smell of marijuana wafted my way. I don't really care about pot. I don't use it, and even if I wanted to use it (which I don't), I'm not allowed to as an educator. My town, and the youth of America act like it is more illegal to have an anti-pot viewpoint than to be okay with the substance. Well, here's my real opinion. I don't think the drug affects people over 25 very much. However, I have watched way too many young kids start taking it and completely change. Like a total personality 180ยบ.  So when I see young kids (even college kids) act like the drug has no effect on them, I get bothered. Many of these same "Eugenites" won't drink from a plastic cup for fear that the BPA has melted into their drink. Look people, can't we agree that anything, ANYTHING you put in your body has an effect on your blood chemistry?!  Just because a product is "natural" doesn't mean your body will love it more than an ear of Monsanto's corn-on-the-cob. Opium is a natural product and it is horrible. Arsenic is natural? Where are its advocates? Currently Marijuana is experiencing what St. John's Wort did twenty years ago when the homeopathic crowd thought is would cure everything. Well, most now believe that Wort does very little except maybe curb mild depression. Marijuana will be legalized in my lifetime, but I don't understand the fully functional people who think it actually enhances their lives (besides chronic pain/ glaucoma/etc. sufferers).

I guess I wouldn't be so riled up about pot if it wasn't for the dirty hipster mom and dad in front of me who were smoking it with their toddler kid in a homemade baby sling. I'm fairly sure that a developing one year old should not be getting a contact high (no matter how "safe" the drug is). If it would have been a cigarette, the entire neighborhood would've beat these parents to death with anti-WTO/ 99%er signs from their yards.

Who doesn't like frequenting a business that looks like
a trailer park crashed into a Picasso painting?  
My last rant is towards elitist beer drinkers. The Whitaker area is now home to multiple brewery/brewpubs including Ninkasi, Hop Valley, and Oakshire. While I like a good microbrew every now and then, many Eugenites frequent these establishments and play the "I drink the bitterest beer" game. "Hey, try this IPA, it tastes like ground-up hops and apple cider vinegar. It's extremely bitter and your tongue will want to emigrate to another mouth, but you'll love it." No, I don't love it.  Let me order what I like (Hefeweizen) and stop mocking me for not liking your acrid spirits. It reminds me of 4th grade when kids pretended to like Atomic Fire Balls or Warheads, but secretly spit them out the second nobody was looking.

I guess what bothers me so much about this area is that everyone is trying so hard to pretend not to impress anyone. They act like their lifestyle is superior because they are open-minded to anything and that their homemade goods and services are so much better than what corporate America is offering. Even my Oregon Duck hat in EUGENE, was getting me ugly looks. I'm sorry, but half these people graduated from that university as well. I'm sorry I wasn't wearing a Ninkasi shirt. I'll try harder next time Whitaker area Eugene.

I think what the people of Whitaker are trying to achieve, is a true community of intelligent/artistic/and creative people who care about the neighborhood they are living in. I can respect that. Where I think they fail is that Saturday Market goods and services have to be better than what Walmart is offering to make people buy in. A neighborhood that sells expensive local wares in a KOA campground type setting is not going appeal to me or the masses. Which is probably fine with the Whitaker area as they are not courting my type people.  (I wouldn't meet their qualifications either).

I'm 34 and I don't know what or where "my people" are. All I know is that when I'm with the right people, we generally don't smell, we eat well, laugh well, and can relax for hours. Is that too much to ask?  I wish I wasn't so dang opinionated.


  1. Opinions are a good thing. Why would we all want to believe and think the exact same way? I really am not liking the way our country is going as far as speaking our mind goes. We are allowed to have an opinion as long as we don't "offend" any one. Why does my opinion offend anybody? And I'm pretty sure as an American I'm entitiled to it. As are you. Keep on keepin' on. And go find your people. =)

  2. I don't know where my people are, either. Everywhere I go, I don't fit in - doesn't sound like Eugene is my place, either, from your description.
    And I am with you on the pot thing, too - while I'm liberal with a lot of personal freedoms, I can't help but be very anti-drug; it's a side effect of being an alcoholic.