The “Hippie Hitlers” of Humboldt
or, The Limitless Lameness of Liberals
I’ve spent enough time working in liberal/lefty, non-profits to know that at the bleeding heart of every liberal lies the stone-cold calculating mind of a fascist. While right wingers favor fascism by Bible and business, hippies prefer a fascism of party and positivity. Right wingers tend to flourish in government positions, where they form “good ol’ boy” networks. “Hippie Hitlers” prefer to work in the non-profit realm. Either way, you get oppression, incompetence and corruption from both sides of the aisle.
I’ve seen “Hippie Hitlers” of one degree or another in nearly every non-profit I’ve been involved with, but Humboldt seems to have more than its fair share, and they really seem to flourish here. “Hippie Hitlers” feed on liberal guilt. We have a lot of guilty liberals here in Humboldt Co., and some of them have a lot of untraceable cash. That might explain the swarm of “Hippie Hitlers” around here.
But how does “Hippie Hitler” use “party and positivity” to acquire and wield power over our local non-profits. How does, for example, a concert promoter convince a small town to build and maintain a huge concert hall, with a top-notch sound system, that primarily benefits concert promoters? I acknowledge that Carol Bruno did many great things for this community (Hitler built the autobahn too). However, Carol Bruno provides a stark, and well documented example of “Hippie Hitler” in action in Humboldt Co. non-profits.
First, the “power of positivity”. Folks around here recall that during the reggae wars, Carol Bruno, former president of The Mateel Community Center, and former “Reggae on the River”concert promoter, said little else publicly, except to reaffirm her own “positivity”, even though she had just screwed the community center out of about half-a-million dollars. “I’m just staying positive, saying my affirmations and reaffirming my own positivity.” I once heard her say in an interview on KMUD.
Of course, her empire was crumbling beneath her at that time, but still, she expected her positivity to save her. See, she didn’t rip-off the community center, we were just being “negative”. Our protests brought “negativity” to her very positive festival. The lawsuit, bitterly contested, just more negativity, and of course, she only agreed to pay a settlement, so that she could put all of that “negativity” behind her. But this final revolt and overthrow came much too late. For years Carol Bruno dominated SoHum with an iron fist of “positivity”. In a nutshell, here’s how “positivity” works.
You see, you never have a legitimate beef with “Hippie Hitler”. Instead, no matter how you phrase your criticism, you are just venting your “negativity”. “Hippie Hitler” treats “negativity” as a deadly contaminate, not to be tolerated in any dose. “Hippie Hitler” seeks to purify himself of all “negativity”, because only those people who are free of “negativity” deserve the good things in life.
Your tiny little criticism just deeply offends this being of pure “positivity”, and of course they want nothing more to do with a person who’s just so full of “negativity” that they can’t help spilling it all over the place. In this way, “Hippie Hitler’s” incompetence, corruption, and obnoxiousness becomes simply unassailable, while the discussion instead revolves around your “negativity”, and how to deal with the problem of trouble-makers like you.
In some organizations around here not the slightest criticism is tolerated, not even the slightest hint of criticism. If you actually have the nerve to say something critical, however, “Hippie Hitler” will not hesitate to attack you viciously. “Hippie Hitler” will look at you like you just pissed on the new carpet and say something like:
“I couldn’t believe you would say such a thing, in that forum, in that way, or whatever. It really made me wonder what kind of person you are. I’m not sure you’re the kind of person I want to work with.”
This way “Hippie Hitler” can simply banish “negativity”, without ever addressing the criticism.
Then “Hippie Hitler” will tell others in the group: “I really don’t know about that guy, I get a bad feeling about him. I think he’s a troublemaker, and agent provocateur or whatever.” In reality these pillars of “positivity” invariably turn out to be vicious, ruthless people acting out of a totally self-serving agenda.
These “positivity” people, by the way, are also the ones who believe that we are rapidly evolving to a higher plane, where all of the “negativity” will disappear, and we’ll all be beautiful radiant beings of light, inhabiting a higher plane of existence. Does that pile of horseshit sound familiar? In reality, “positivity’ is just another strategy for fucking people over, no “evolutionary awakening” going on there at all.
Pure Horse Shit
You’ll often hear “Hippie Hitler” say, “We have new people here. We don’t want them to get turned off by all of this infighting.” This way, the real issues the group would grapple with, get suppressed so that newcomers can be protected, like innocent children, from the real issues. “Hippie Hitler” treats all newcomers like children, who must be protected from the machinations of “the core group”. So, meetings become boring, ceremonial events that quickly dissolve into parties, and “the core group” becomes increasingly insulated from the membership at large, or the community at large for that matter.
For “Hippie Hitler” its much more important to stifle dissent, establish an insular “core group” and to develop cash flow, than it is to actually accomplish goals or solve problems. “Hippie Hitler” cares more about preserving the group, his position in it, and the cash flow, than about accomplishing goals. This is precisely why most non-profits around here become calcified, stodgy, inaccessible and lame, while you hear nothing but endless praise for the great work they do, whether they do any great work or not.
Here’s how parties play into this strategy. Like I already said, “Hippie Hitler” wants to keep meetings short, and “positive”, and then have them turn into parties. At meetings, and in forums, you usually only find people who genuinely care about an issue. For “Hippie Hitler” these people mean trouble. People who care, want to know what’s going on. They want to know where the money goes. They want to know what “Hippie Hitler” has accomplished. “Hippie Hitler” doesn’t need that “negativity”.
At parties, on the other hand, its all small talk and gossip. At a party, any kind of conflict is in bad taste, but you can easily speak ill, of someone not immediately present. While most hippies have an incredibly low tolerance for conflict, they love gossip and rumor. At a party “Hippie Hitler” can work the room, and his personal agenda, without ever facing a single tough question.
While only people who care, show up at meetings, everyone loves to party, and you can raise money at a party. The parties never stop here in Humboldt Co. between the benefits, boogies, barbeques and festivals, you can always drop some of that liberal guilt for a cause. Just don’t ask any questions, or say anything “negative”, after all, its a party, we’re all just trying to have a good time.
So, you see, parties give “Hippie Hitler” the perfect opportunity to harvest the conscience money, while minimizing his exposure to any “negativity” from anyone who expects to hold them accountable.
This community finally rose up and toppled the Bruno regime, but we still have plenty of “Party and Positivity” fascists in our midst here in Humboldt Co. That is not to say that everyone who works in a non-profit around here is a fascist, it just seems that way sometimes.