I take pride in my work, and I enjoy seeing my essays published each week at LOCO. I can’t say I read LOCO much. I use the excuse that I don’t have internet at home, for not reading LOCO, but the truth is, I don’t have internet at home because I have better things to do. Still, Hank Sims and the folks at Lost Coast Communications have put together a great resource for this community. I know that a lot of people rely on LOCO as their number one source for information about life in Humboldt County, and I’m proud to be a part of it.
Of course, not everyone who reads LOCO likes what I have to say. Some people have described my work as “hateful” or as “sensationalist click-bait.” Nothing could be further from the truth. I don’t hate dope yuppies for becoming drug dealers any more than I would hate a woman for becoming a prostitute. I pity her. I don’t care how much money she makes. I pity her, and I pity the dope yuppies in the same way.
Prohibition has a corrosive effect on everything it touches, including the lives of the people who profit from it. I don’t care how much money they make at it, dealing drugs is a shitty, low-status, high-stress occupation, and growing weed is a lot of boring hard work. Even the money they make, causes them problems.
Not everyone sympathizes with white people who have too much money, but I do. I know that many of our local dope yuppies suffer from an inferiority complex. Deep down, they can’t face the fear that they just don’t have what it takes to succeed honestly, so they overcompensate. I see how hard they work to fill that hole, and how completely clueless they are about their situation. That’s not evil; that’s pathetic, so I pity them; I don’t hate them.
That said, as we move towards legalization, and draw back the curtain on this whole writhing pile of maggots known affectionately as “the cannabis industry,” we must always remember that the War On Drugs did this to people. The War on Drugs was a shameful chapter in this country’s history, and it forced a lot of people to do ugly, sneaky and illegal things, just to get cannabis into the hands of the people who needed it most. You could, perhaps, describe those efforts as heroic, but over time, it changed people, and they became increasingly addicted to black-market profits.
Those were dark times, but as the War on Drugs comes to an end, so does the excuse for this inexcusable behavior. Now comes the time for truth and reconciliation, and I’m here to help. I’m here to remind you of what you lost in the War on Drugs, and what we stand to gain by ending it. I sympathize, and I care. I only want the best for our whole community, and I do my best, as a writer, to to highlight the truth, and make it entertaining to boot. It’s honest work, LOCO pays me for it, and every day, people introduce themselves to me, to tell me how much they appreciate it.
Sure, it’s a lot of work for the money, and no, I don’t make as much as the dope yuppies I ridicule, but I still have my self-respect. Self-respect can save you a lot of money in the long run, because no matter how much money you sell your self-respect for, you can never buy it back, no matter how hard you try. Dope yuppies tend to blow a lot of their money that way.
Why do you think dope yuppies over-tip at restaurants, buy shit they don’t need, and go to spas so much? They know that the merchants they patronize, treat their customers with respect, and keep their opinions to themselves, so dope yuppies spend a lot of money, in a vain attempt to buy back what most people instinctively know is too precious to sell.
Consequently, the merchants in the Garberville shopping district know that, more than the goods and services they provide, they sell respect itself to people who sorely lack it, and they charge a premium for it. That’s why everything costs so much here, and why you’ll get so little of it, unless you spend a lot of money. We even have a store in Garberville called “Got Respect?” I kid you not. I have no idea what they sell there because I’ve never stepped inside. I just wish Wildhorse Records still occupied that space.
“Sensationalist click-bait?” Please! How is that different from, “a damn good read?” Some people read my work because they know that it’s about them, and they just can’t get enough of themselves, even if they don’t like what I have to say about them. Others read my work because they know I speak the truth about what goes on around here. They’re glad someone has the nerve to say it, and the skills to say it well. I may not indulge you in your illusions about yourself, or avoid reminding you of things you’d rather forget, but at least I pay attention to you, Southern Humboldt, and I care. That’s why I write this column, and that’s why you read it.