I found this old letter to the editors of a local paper. I don’t think I posted it here;
Regarding Mark Winstein’s letter entitled “Lets Not be a Big Box Town” printed in last weekend’s edition: I will point out to your good and thoughtful readers that in Mr. Winstein’s opinion, the last people who should be making decisions about land use are the actual land owners, the last people who should decide what is and what is not a “sustainable approach to the economy” are those who have their own capital at risk in a given venture, and by rights, the very last people on Earth who should decide where to shop are the shoppers themselves.
Apparently, there is a new field of study at the U of I, known as “Helping Make the Economy More Reflective of Ecological Values”. I might like to meet one of the Doctorate Professors in this new Helping Make the Economy More Reflective of Ecological Values Department. However, between taking care of my family and minding my own business instead of advocating the use of force in minding other people’s business, it would be hard for me to justify the time.
Now I want to propose an entirely new concept– one that Winstein may not have ever considered: Maybe we could advocate the protection of other people’s rights (even if we dislike them). It might be interesting if people could make their own decisions in what I will call a “Free Society” (I might enjoy entertaining the Dean of a “Free Market Solutions to World Problems” College). I understand that this is a new and terrifying proposal (for some) but it may be worth considering, given that if our neighbors have the Right to Choose, perchance it would follow that we too would be afforded the same right at some stage.
That was several years ago, and I had been accosted in a parking lot by a petitioner that same year, too. The argument was; “Look how big it’s going to be.” Big is bad, I guess. People are supposed to be small. Or else, and that reminds me of a bumper sticker quote from Dennis Preger; “The Bigger the Government, the Smaller the Citizen”. Someone called the show to tell us that their car had been keyed after putting that sticker on it.
I started to argue with them, but it quickly became an obviously pointless exercise and I drifted away.
Today we have that Super Wal Mart the communists were trying to kick out of town by force of law (fairly and equitably of course). I do a lot of shopping there. It’s good to live near a big box town. It’s the next best thing to living in a big box town. The hippies pay something like eight dollars per gallon for milk at the Hippie Haus (our nickname for the local food co-op). The supermarket Rosauer’s now has a hippie section, so you can pay three to four times as much for your food there too. It’s for The Children, somehow, I guess. And world peace. And LSD, and stars per gallon. When I was a kid, we bought milk directly from the farmers for next to nothing, and it wasn’t processed in any way except for already having been sucked from the cow’s teats. When I was twelve years old or so, I’d take the family car several miles, usually running at ~0.5 Mach* along the narrow country roads, to get unpasteurized milk. I suppose the hippies would be envious as hell to learn about that, until they realized that these farms were (gasp) private (gasp) businesses working for (gasp) profit on (gasp) private land, and (gasp) not charging us any tax for milk that was (gasp) never inspected by anyone except for the farmer, who (gasp) knew ten times more than any inspector ever will. Poor communists– they never see anything that happens as a result of private initiative and free choice without getting all pissed off and bent out of shape (unless it’s an abortion or a pot party**). I will feel sorry for them after we’ve crushed them into the dirt and no one else remembers them. Maybe it’s because I have a soft spot in my heart for ignorant, vacuous, ridiculous, embarrassing hippies (i.e. hippies) having been one myself in a former life.
* I believe that was the only time in my life I ever tested, and later verified, the actual top speed of a medium to lightweight, V8-powered motor vehicle on flat ground. I suppose that may have something to do with why they don’t typically license 12 year olds to drive alone. Back then though, I was only vaguely aware of the notion of “licensing” in any sense. The subject of licensing was among the largely esoteric or academic (of no consequence) concepts in our lives then. Any mention of it and we would have ignored you, not out of malice or disgust, but because it simply had no meaning for ordinary people who lived in the country unless a “fuzz” or a “putch” (a degraded abbreviation of the word “patrol”) happened by on the off chance, in which case we left.
** Jam sessions and music festivals come to mind, but those are a subset of “pot party” and so they are covered. Protests where thought of, but ditto, and other than the very smallest protests that you’ll scarcely ever see and never hear of, hippie protests are not the result of private initiative. “Hippie” and “private initiative” have only the very thinnest excuse to exist in the same sentence unless it be, “A hippie has almost no private initiative”.