"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky

"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Thursday, July 17, 2008

7/17/08: Denver-The Hippie McDouche Incident

I had continued to notice the frequent irritation with certain things, but oddly that I ALSO had a new sense of overall calm. I have been known over the years to have a bit of an edge, and let little things provoke me. That had stopped since I had been back, at least as it pertained to the insignificant. I was content to let life drift by, worrying about what I could control and seemed important. However, there were certain instances when that calmness and serenity annihilated at seemingly inexplicable times. Stores seem to provoke these times!

I walked down to King Soopers to get some cigarettes and to stop in to the coffee shop to hang out for a bit. Outside of the Capital Hill King Soopers, there are usually activists collecting signatures and money, for whatever cause they’re pimping that day. Today it was for my least favorite organization not named PETA: Greenpeace.

I saw the guy well before I went in, and felt myself getting angry just at the sight of this seemingly college-age kid wearing the hippie uniform complete with the Greenpeace upper- body billboard. He used the, “you care about the environment, right?” line to try to guilt me into stopping to hear his schpeel and of course grab my signature. I said something to the effect of “Yeah, but I hate Greenpeace.” They are trained to respond to these negative reactions to their activist panhandling by saying, “Well, you have NICE day too…” with the now- standard upward inflection on “too”!

It was such a canned, pre- arranged response from this little leftie puppet that before I knew it, my rage had built to the point where my mouth had lost its filter. I told him, in a rather loud voice, “I’ll have a VERY nice day if you’ll go fuck yourself.” With the upward inflection on “fuck yourself”. He had vapor lock, not knowing how to handle this. Keep in mind he was in a public setting, at a business, dealing with someone who was obviously belligerent toward his organization. So much so, that this someone was willing to cause quite a scene if he continued to press the issue.

Greenpeace, PETA, and extremist organizations like them are constantly fighting a P.R. war. They’ve both done more harm to the “causes” they claim to advocate simply by appearing to be ecoterrorists, all the while exploiting the naive, idealistic, well-intentioned sheep who are too young know better than to support them with labor, money, and signatures. Having a loud argument at the entrance to a supermarket with someone who simply wanted to be left alone would NOT exactly be a public relations coup, especially for these wannabe extremists.

As I walked inside, I noticed that the manager had heard the exchange and quickly walked outside to speak with Hippie McDouche. Mr. Manager was doing all of the talking. He did not seem pleased. Mr. McDouche remained, but I doubt he continued to use the obnoxious line with which his handlers provided him.

After I had left the supermarket I was a little disturbed, but also quite encouraged. I was not disturbed by fact that I had yelled at a puppet with Greenpeace’s paw up its ass, but at how FAST, and the degree to which I had gotten so angry. It was a bit frightening, and not in character for me. Usually it takes weeks for me to build up that kind of anger! The only conclusion I could come to, at the time, was realizing how far I’d come from being that Liberal Agenda Dog myself a few years ago.

Sometimes the things that bother you the most are the things that remind you of yourself. There was more to it, but that was the only thing I could come up with at the time.

The encouragement came from the fact that I obviously had tapped into or developed some resources I had been lacking: crystallized ideas and more importantly unwavering confidence in them. The self doubt that has plagued me forever, as it pertains to action, is drastically dissipating. That was encouraging, but only the first example of many that would show me that I now had to learn how to deal with it!

I walked back to the Friary feeling quite ornery, but with no other confrontations, thankfully. We went to Barracuda’s later and I was feeling quite agitated and unsettled, not only about the incident at the store, but with everything that surrounded being in Denver. I told Chris what had happened, and he just chuckled saying he thought that I had possibly gained more focus. I was not sure. I just knew that I was unexpectedly perturbed and could not figure out why!

We managed to stay out until 2am helping Angela celebrate her birthday, and I had decided that I was going to take the bus back to Santa Fe the following morning. I thought that maybe some time back there would provide a foundation for reflection and comparison so I could process, and maybe figure out what exactly had changed.
It was a quick and surprising 3-days in Denver. It was obvious by now that I NEEDED the interlude this time and that I was entering uncharted territory with myself.