One weird old spinster in a Tibetan nun’s habit shitting on a bed of newspaper, wrapping it up, opening her trailer door, tossing the offering out into the yard, and retreating back into her sanctuary doesn’t prove much. Homegirl could be a one-off freak. She’s certainly sui generis. Likewise, one filthy bachelor leaving behind that which left his behind in a trash can, to be discovered by the next tenant to move into his shack, is probative of little on its own. Again, it’s pooey generous.
Two tenants with bowel habits of this caliber living on the same dirt parking lot under the same landlord well within the space of a decade is a different matter entirely. That’s a pattern. These incidents don’t add up linearly; they scale logarithmically, and the logarithm in use is powerful. They prove that there’s something truly, badly wrong with the landlord for tolerating such unmitigated filth. When the tenancy of one of these filthy creeps overlaps with the tenancy of two different floridly psychotic homeless men from the neighborhood, and when one of these psychotics is allowed to remain on the property for years while he serially vandalizes other people’s property during fits of anger, do the math. It isn’t exactly math; I took a 100-level statistics course in college once, but you know. By this point we’ve reached a level of squalor and dysfunction that is undeniably damning of those tolerating it. Landlords have a duty to clean this shit up and promptly move to evict those causing it. They just do.
I feel like Fred Reed for being so categorical, so tautologically adamant. You have to clean that shit up because you have to clean it up. Because. This is the sort of thing parents tell their defiant young children. It feels wrong to approach adults with this sort of reasoning, and it should. But Joe Dirtbag isn’t comporting himself like an adult. His notion of liberty includes the license to allow anyone from the neighborhood who isn’t manifestly violent, and some who are manifestly violent, the run of his working farm and winery. It includes his right to charge rent for legally uninhabitable residential units, as expressly forbidden under Oregon law.
Who am I to tell him how to run his property? Uh, I’m one of his investors. But different people have different ways of doing things. Muh prevailing community standards. Oh, I get it: any landed petty tyrant is allowed to exploit whatever hipster milquetoasts and mentally ill street people wander in from the neighborhood and call the shambling result a “community.” It’s like St. Louis County, but without the municipal charters. I could have sheriff’s deputies or state troopers shut the entire thing down. It’s a criminal enterprise. The property is being used to commit crimes against identifiable victims. If I truthfully explained the conditions of my employment there and the conditions in which Joe Dirtbag offered to “house” me, I’d make him look terrible.
This story is bizarre enough that it could get national or even international press attention. Joe Dirtbag is already a minor local celebrity for his downmarket Patrick Henry tax revolt stunt, and he has been presented as a sympathetic victim of out-of-control government regulation and taxation profligacy on at least one fringe libertarian blog. “My restaurant was strangled by onerous taxes of dubious legitimacy and a merciless collection regime” makes a businessman sound much more credible and sympathetic than “I was running a restaurant that got into trouble with the health department and the revenuers, and at the same time I was allowing one of my tenants to throw her piss and shit into the weeds next to a parking lot that was routinely being used by visiting school groups.”
It’s hard to say sometimes whether South Park is satire or sober, descriptive current-events analysis. In the time I’ve been around the farm it has had a working winery building with neighborhood stray cats pissing on the wall; Mixups in my Mind camping out on an old van bench in the shower room, yelling at passing motorists about their carbon footprints, yelling at the Devil, and smashing glass into piles of rubble in fits of anger; Psychotarp claiming that he knows people who became addicting to huffing Roundup, suggesting that I might enjoy hiking two miles up a hill into the oak scrub to scavenge junk metal from a big pile, and taking part in conversations in which he can’t keep the gasoline-addled youth of Newfoundland’s Indian Reserves straight from the victims of the Union Carbide disaster at Bhopal; other random homeless from the neighborhood showing up and causing trouble, with at least one of them, according to Mixups in my Mind, being given an order to leave town that night by a sort of mob enforcer at the homeless camp where he had been living because he had been stealing wine from our winery late at night; Captain Flimflam allowing portapotties to overflow while he fucked around playing bluegrass music; and Lady Pisspan and Pot-o-Shit Friend doing their business in ways that it became other people’s business. This is not an exhaustive list, I’m sure.
South Park is notorious for its crude scatological humor. Maybe it’s just describing crude scatological lifestyles of the sort lived by Joe Dirtbag’s farm tenants, at my significant expense. There are actually people around here who talk with their eyes closed and that smug look of affected serenity on their faces. It’s eerie. Then there’s the matter of Joe Dirtbag and the Family Shrew showing more concern for the welfare of their cats than for mine. At the Family Shrew’s insistence, they buy top-of-the-line cat food for their house cat, at quadruple the cost of normal cat food, even though there’s hardly any difference and not cat can be bothered to care. Meanwhile, Joe Dirtbag offers me food that he bought at the steepest discounts available, including meat that he bought right at its code date.
This is obviously deeply offensive behavior. No normal person would not be offended. I come to their property and work as a productive member of society, to their direct benefit, and they treat me like a fucking bum. Joe Dirtbag and the dumbfuck physician who bootlegs his wine into California got into a shouting match with one of Dr. Dumbo’s old boys during crush a few years ago, when Dr. Dumbo’s buddy said that he needed to take a shit and demanded a flush toilet. Dr. Dumbo is now trying to get this buddy, who has been unemployed for several years, to work on some bottling runs by cutting him a check in advance on the basis that if he doesn’t show up the check will just be the latest handout. But why, pray tell, should anyone come to appreciate the dignity of work when the conditions include the principal making fun of his help for demanding access to a flush toilet so that he isn’t forced to shit in a stinking hole in the ground during a cold rainstorm? There are circumstances that justify third-rate toileting facilities, but the principal being too chronically derelict to provide proper facilities for decades on end doesn’t cut it.
Don’t worry, though, it’s absolutely inconceivable that Joe Dirtbag ever caused personnel turmoil and dysfunction at his restaurant by berating his employees for no good reason. Shit there was forever groovy until economic circumstances completely beyond their control fatally harshed the long mellow.
I deserve a minimally inhabitable place to stay, rent-free, if I’m working without pay for these fuckers. Having God knows who shitting God knows where is completely unacceptable. For that matter, having neighborhood crazies who should be in Section Eight housing or nuthouse assisted living facilities barging into my work areas to preach their word for half an hour straight isn’t acceptable, either, and I am far from the only person who feels this way. There are places where I could buy a house free and clear for $15,000. Instead, I have $15,000 tied up in this dump run by a shambling fraud who gets his jollies by defying his investors and mistreating the help whenever the spirit so moves him.
Joe Dirtbag and the Family Shrew claim to be good liberals, so it isn’t too hard to see how and why the American left is such a failure. Maybe Jonathan Haidt is right about liberals having a deficient sense of purity. Pot-o-Shit Friend’s old shack could certainly benefit from the purification of a fire department training exercise.