The Rainbow Family does plenty to alienate me. It makes the homeless look bad, and does so for utterly gratuitous reasons of self-satisfaction. It is probably a significant pool of unpaid, exploitable scab labor for grossly unethical small organic farmers who really only pretend to be hippies, because the hippie act serves as a ready excuse to avoid paying their employees (on grounds of back-to-the-land agorist horseshit theory) while also collecting every stream of public assistance they can tap (because, dude, the regs allow it, man, and we’re just taking what we paid into Social Security) (uh, and not paying in on behalf of their own employees, but that’s all cool, because they’re probably Boomers). The Rainbow Family sound like LARP shitheads with grooming and personal hygiene problems, and I’ve run into some of their admirers, or maybe hangers-on, in Oregon who have struck me as real dipshits in their own right.
This is not a crowd that I’d naturally regard with any sympathy, but the reaction, in the political sense, that they provoke from squares can be even worse, making it hard for me not to take their side. This torrent of mouth shit was spilled onto the pages of a “community” rag out of Lake George, which apparently spams itself by US Mail to every residential address in the Adirondacks, after the Rainbow Family annoyed a number of forest rangers and retailers in Rutland County with its National Gathering earlier this year. You probably didn’t come here looking for evidence that rural illiteracy is actually decorous, not unfortunate, but you’re about to get some regardless. My grandmother’s piece of shit boyfriend, who sometimes knew how to sign his name on a check, never had the literary ability to publish this:
We generally try to stay out of the affairs of our neighbor to the east.
After all, our relationship with Vermont is congenial: We enjoy going over there for craft beer and life-saving medical treatment; they come over here for the scenic vistas and cheap real estate.
Sometimes we quietly chuckle at their quixotic, idealism-drenched culture and compare it to our flinty outlook grounded deep in practical, North Country values.
Vermont doesn’t have scenery or practical people? What the fucking fuck? True story: the views of the Adirondack High Peaks are usually better from Vermont, which doesn’t have as many hills in the way, than from New York. Another true story: the main Davidson Brewery production facility is, like, a seven-minute drive straight up the main drag from the Village of Lake George. This is the same Highway (sic) Nine that Bruce Springsteen admired, although several hundred miles north. Do these people have any motherfucking idea of where they’re living? Have they even been to Vermont? Do they actually think this passive-aggressive, pseudobumpkin horseshit is cute? (Short answer, to spare everyone the disgusting details: Yes.) As disoriented, drooling idiots, they inevitably didn’t note that they live in one of the least self-sufficient rural areas in the United States or that Vermont has an exceptionally large and diversified agricultural industry for a state of its size. This is because being pig-ignorant about how and where food is produced is “flinty” and “practical.”
Being hesitant to butt into Vermont’s affairs, these assholes decide to do what you won’t believe happened next:
But we couldn’t help but watch with amusement earlier this month as a group calling themselves the Rainbow Family descended on a small town in Rutland County for their annual gathering.
The group is a loose affiliation of thousands of people who hold a festival every summer in a national forest, floating from place to place, presumably on the heady fumes of their own idealism.
This year, they selected the Green Mountain National Forest as their destination, their first touchdown in the state since 1991.
And for three weeks, an estimated 10,000 participants created their own utopia in the Green Mountain State, seeking to recapture universal ideals like friendship, peace on earth and generic rebukes of commercialism and corporate culture.
Many eschew conventional trappings like proper footwear, given names and gainful employment.
Translation: They’re unemployed hippies.
Sure, this is some stupid masturbatory excess, but all that distinguishes it from the summer crowd in the Adirondacks is indigence and homelessness. These are idle people dicking around in a non-arable forest over the summer to no purposeful end. Their wankery is a perfect example of why I would have stayed in Oregon and picked fruit commercially for the last month if my financial and family circumstances weren’t so weird and my parents weren’t living in this profitless hardscrabble piney dump at the opposite end of the country. “The heady fumes of their own idealism” isn’t bad as a working explanation of Adirondack chairs. Promoting an obnoxious, soul-crushingly indolent posh rural aesthetic isn’t enough; these fuckers have to also insist that they’re the ones with the work ethic. When Vermonters maintain trailer park junkyards, it’s often in the course of running dairy farms; when Adirondackers pull Red-Green Show shit, the only things most of them are possibly coaxing from their land is some maple sap and firewood, which are equally available in Vermont. I probably know more about agriculture in the Adirondacks (like, that there isn’t much of it) than the entire editorial board of the Sun combined.
NB: These fuckjobs blew it by smearing the unemployed. In fairness, so do the Rainbow Family by their example. What unites the two shitflocks is an utter ignorance of productive rural folkways crudely disguised as a supreme understanding of rural folkways. This is why they’re at loose ends in marginal forests twenty or forty miles from arable bottomlands in the middle of the summer and see nothing wrong with this lifestyle.
They came, they sang… they washed their hair with vegetable sprayers at local supermarkets.
Yes, you heard that right.
And then they passed the cost off to taxpayers.
Yes, do tell Mr. Wonka about how the State of New York isn’t subsidizing anyone’s roads up here because we’re all good independent country folk.
The U.S. Forest Service, the agency that oversees national parks, issued daily news releases detailing of “increases in negative issues” associated with the gathering, mostly confrontations over trying to get free stuff, be it shoplifting or arguing with service providers, and defiling public space.
We’ve got a few problems with this.
The first is the Rainbow Family’s defenders are quick to say that these folks aren’t doing anything wrong, and crime is relatively low considering their numbers — just 200 warnings and 174 violations were given throughout the three-week event, according to WCAX.
Even Gov. Peter Shumlin seemed to take a mellow approach, asking law enforcement to “stop hassling” the crowd after the family complained of “heavy policing.”
“Obviously, if there’s real law-enforcement challenges, we should enforce, but let’s live and let live,” Shumlin told that same news agency.
But, like the folks who bend themselves into similar ideological contortions, that’s like congratulating yourself for never going to jail.
Imagine such a spectacle in, say, Westport or West Chazy? Now imagine your friends and family who are small business owners or law enforcement officials trying to deal with this madness.
You probably wouldn’t be so quick to “live and let live.”
The North Country tradition, by contrast, is to aggressively lobby the state and federal governments for much larger, more consistent amounts of free stuff while insisting that no one is doing anything of the sort because, well, this is the North Country. Also, insurance arson. Quite a bit of drunk driving, too, with a lot of gruesome results for such a sparsely populated area. A friend of the family nearly got killed on the Schroon River Road by a kid who was driving drunk to a meeting with his probation officer for a previous drunk driving conviction. For the kid, at least, the recursion ended for good right there. He was at least gracious enough, if barely so, to practice “die and let live.”
The second is the tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars.
In other news, Rob Ford has provoked controversy for referring to Amy Winehouse as a roaring drunk Jewess.
Yes, the Green Mountain National Forest is a national landmark open to all Americans, including those seeking to carve out existence on a more primitive plane.
But this idle foolishness has real-life economic consequences.
Are we finally stipulating that #TCOT country bumpkin LARPs by drugstore woodsmen from Teaneck are a drain on the public treasury? Of course not:
The U.S. Forest Service allocates nearly $500,000 each year specifically for law enforcement at these gatherings.
In a country of over three hundred million with a median household income of over $50,000. Wow Much maths Such beautiful None mind.
Our count revealed at least a half-dozen additional law enforcement agencies who had to provide supplemental security, be it patrolling traffic, issuing citations for minor violations for other quality-of-life issues, or otherwise keeping the peace.
Those additional costs are unknown because those funds were peeled from a state highway safety grant program, according to interviews with law enforcement agencies who worked the beat.
What an obnoxious use of taxpayer money.
Porky had to work some overtime on traffic details and respond to “minor violations,” and some bureaucrats had to move some money around from account to account. I’m sure St. Jean de Bréboeuf would be moved to no eyes.
There’s the additional non-criminal costs of this gathering, including remedying the environmental issues, which will require careful study by highly-skilled professionals to assess the damages.
In standard English, some other civil servants will get overtime of their own because reasons, possibly legitimate.
Where are these indignant editorialists when the Defense Department dumps several billion dollars into an unairworthy fighter jet project for political reasons? These expenses that have their panties in a twist couldn’t even cover Fat Leonard’s bribery budget.
And then there’s the medical costs. According to Vermont Public Radio, Rutland Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department reported at least 35 members treated in their ER — and that was one full week before the bacchanal reached its Patchouli-scented conclusion on July 4.
That same news source reported a Montana hospital was stuck with $200,000 in unpaid medical bills following a gathering in 2013.
Yo, this is for a heavily indigent population of ten thousand seeking charity care from an industry notorious for inflating its patient charges dozens of times over cost.
We’re going to have to side with reason on this one.
No, you’re going to have to side with #TCOT and against math.
“We would have loved to have seen the governor come down and see the area for himself for what we and his agencies were trying to deal with on the ground,” said John Sinclair, the supervisor of the Green Mountain National Forest.
Amen to that.
While we often come down hard on the onerous restrictions here in the Adirondack Park, those same guidelines governing gatherings on public land would have prevented such a similar gathering across Lake Champlain inside the Blue Line.
Government is bullshit when some retiree needs a new dock for his motorboat, but it’s bae as fuck when it’s time to punch hippies.
Annex us now, Millington. Annex us now.
Because unlike far-flung ideals like “light and love,” at the end of the day, it’s us regular taxpayers who have to pick up the tab.
Or, as the educated call them at all times of day and night, farfetched ideals. Literacy means being able to read and write, not knowing what the words mean. Nor does literacy mean knowing how to do rough mental division of less than one million by 315 million to determine that one’s own share of the hippie policing and cleanup costs is a sliver of a deposit bottle, minus whatever portion of the total government bill is funded by long-term, low-interest sovereign debt. These fuckjobs meet the standard of literacy, and the rest of us pay for it every time some dipshit believes their fever-swamp nonsense.
I don’t know how so much of this country is so damned, but it is. It’s goddamned with Jeremiah Wright’s invocation, and it’s goddamned without. If this prevalence of mental defect is a blessing, can you imagine what could possibly be bad enough to be a curse? If this is actually, fundamentally what America is, I’m not ashamed to say to hell with it.
That is, assuming it isn’t a moot point because we’re already there.