8 comments on “Landlords Threaten Last Bastion of Hippie Culture in SoHum

  1. There are always two sides to every coin, John, and this post covers only one side and from a pretty negative point of view. I’m frankly doubtful that you’re willing to see it any other way.

    • I just think you’re too lazy to try to explain yourself, just like you are too lazy to manage your own property. If you have more property than you can manage yourself you probably have too much property, but I’m willing to keep an open mind.

  2. Jeepers, John. I still live in this area, and I managed that property for 18 years. It’s now managed by a lovely lady who relates well to our tenants and who is decidedly not lazy. Your comment is again out of touch with reality though I don’t expect you to see that. You say you’re willing to keep an open mind but the rest of your comment surely doesn’t sound like that.

    • Jeepers, Nat You talk about putting my friend, and an old man who is a pillar of this community, out of his home, and you expect me to keep an open mind. I think you’re pretty far out of touch with reality if you think that’s OK. I’m really sick of middle-class assholes who have way more than they need, using their money to make life harder for everyone else. I don’t care what your legal rights are, I’m telling you that you have a responsibility to this community to help Paul help the poor, and if you don’t agree, then don’t expect me to respect you or your property rights.

  3. In this is the season of recurring conflict, big change is in the air. As the heart of town continues its face-lift of gentrification. Despite the caging of the town square; ‘undesirable’ people in the community continue to cause repulsion to the ‘desirable’ as the former’s rights and dignity are abused by the latter- from the simply houseless and tragically mentally ill, to those damaged by drug abuse all are guilty of being seen in public. Testimony by displaced people (documented by Paul- an example of some of the service he attempts) describes a pattern of abuse and theft carried out by vigilantism, that includes the participation of a prominent second Gen landlord. The abuse usually strategically stops short of actual physical assault, with perpetrators relying on the fact that the victims lack the resources to pursue due process for relief or justice.

    Winter storms will soon wash the streets clean again, and our local social ills will be forgotten for a time, by those that hunker down and endure the wet season in the privacy of their cozy shelters and those who trek to warm, exotic distraction to avoid the discomfort of winter. Some will not have the luxury to forget.

    Local ‘High Hippie’ Culture, often referred to as: ‘we’, as in “When we got here….” and easily defined by 1970’s new-settlers, with middle class upbringings, college education and lifestyles subsidized by the then generous social supports of “the war on poverty,” Is safely in denial about the struggles at street level of survival in a land hostile to the “underprivileged.”

    The word “Hippie” is used proudly to describe the roots of those now in their sunset years who glowingly recount the glory days of struggle and growth that built the local institutions and customs we take for granted. The founders of the local institutions that won the double lottery of low land prices, and the underground weed boom that spawned the dope yuppies John describes so well.

    With a wink and a nod, no one can deny that the local economy is powered by money laundered through business and real estate investment. Just as a real understanding of history and society can’t deny that poverty, hunger, drug abuse and the lack of housing are the real products of the political economy we are all part of.

    Though described by John as the last bastion of Hippie culture, Paul’s Bohemianism- The practice of an unconventional lifestyle, in the company of like-minded people, involving artistic, or literary pursuits, wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds, predated Hippie culture- A Jesuit training in morals, philosophy, and history drove his personal revolution that later identified him as Hippie. The deep roots of social equality, justice, peace, and non-violence have informed his life. The business of books, was never entered upon as a path to wealth, but as a path of life.

    True Hippie culture was defined by the work of the Diggers who took their name from the original English Diggers of 1649-50 who promulgated a vision of society free from private property, and all forms of buying and selling. The San Francisco Diggers evolved out of two Radical traditions that thrived in the SF Bay Area in the mid-1960s: the bohemian/underground art/theater scene, and the New Left/civil rights/peace movement. The diggers fed hungry people, helped people who were sick- and increasingly they were- Media popularized the mystique of Hippie, and the summer of love, later recalled in utopian terms was the beginning of the end. The Haight-Ashbury district could not handle the amount of kids that invaded the region in 1967 looking for free love, mind expanding drugs and spiritual empowerment. Overcrowded conditions caused many to live on the streets and contributed to widespread illness. Overcrowding, and drug abuse use brought with it the problems of overdosing and crime. Speed and alcohol in particular, caused an increase in more violent crimes. Most of the kids that descended upon the Haight with hope and optimism in June returned home sick and out of money by September. By the fall of 1967, Haight-Ashbury was nearly abandoned, trashed, and laden with drugs and homeless people.

    The intellectual cultural creatives were always in the minority- most just came for the party. On October 8th 1967 The Diggers held a funeral march commemorating the death of the Hippie, proclaiming: “Stay where you are! Bring the revolution to where you live.” even as the exodus from the chaos of the city led people “back to the land.”
    Hippie fashion and music, continued, but the prime directive of the movement went beyond those trappings co-opted by Madison Avenue to capitalize on the “youth-quake.” that distracted most from the reality of the escalating Vietnam war.

    Paul is described as the last bastion because commerce has won; education is an unaffordable commodity, idealistic social progress has become just another losing political slogan, and Business concerns trump humanity. The local institutions that were built with progressive social ideals, have become just that- Institutions, with all the issues and politics that inspired the questioning of authority to begin with.

    Disgruntled and angry neighbors, self righteous landlords, and intolerant locals are the forces creating the new Garberville, while the commons, privatized, have been lost. Paul, as loyal opposition, is pushed to the fringe of the new establishment he has been instrumental in building- for the unsavory act of caring for social justice.

    And still people are without shelter, hungry, cold, crazed and addicted, and still are we at war.

    No matter the hook for eviction, or the way it is spun, for a few, the important headline will be: “Octogenarian intellectual; international peace maker, community activist, writer and publisher- an advocate for the rights of downtrodden at risk community members, serving generations- whose long time activist partners sudden death was quickly followed by the lengthy illness and demise of their youngest child, is thrown out of his long established bookstore, for his tolerance and selfless service to victims of the gentrification and arbitrary standards of a merchant class in a community at odds with economic and social reality.”

  4. How about respect for the rest of our tenants, John? They don’t count? And where did you get the idea that we’re putting Paul out? Have you read any of my other posts?I’ve always seen Paul as my friend too, but we cannot ignore how what he’s doing affects the rest of our tenants. Can you?

    • Paul doesn’t disrespect your other tenants. They are complaining about all of the homeless drug addicts around. Paul didn’t cause that. The real-estate bloodsuckers caused that. Go after them instead. Your tenants probably complain because you charge too much rent for an apartment in a drug ghetto. Paul didn’t turn Garberville into a drug ghetto. The marijuana industry did that, and it made you a slumlord. That’s not Paul’s fault. I think you are going after Paul because you don’t have the balls to stand up to the marijuana industry.

      I got the idea that you wanted Paul out because the notes your property manager sent him say that if he doesn’t change what he does, you will evict him. I don’t think you have any business telling Paul how to run his business, and if you want to make life better for your tenants, it will take a hell of a lot more than threatening Paul.

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