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In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Thursday, September 15, 2005

When I was a Libertarian

Dr. Fred had responded to a fairly general question put to him by me about organic farming with what seemed like a half-hour long soliloquy. My friend Father O'Sheely is sitting on a pile of barkdust, writing in his notebook, which makes people nervous. They ask him what he's doing, and his answer doesn't really set them at ease. He and I (and a few others) are strangers attending a fourth of July barbecue on the farm of a candidate for the governor-ship of Oregon, who has already had his house raided twice, by the cops.
This is part of what happens to you when you are a retired urologist/organic farmer who advocates the relaxing or abolition of laws concerning marijuana, and one of your opponents is the state's Attorney General.
As Dr. Fred finishes his disquisition on the principles of organic farming, a large black man with dreadlocks stands up nearby, and starts into a rambling sort of sermon. I don't remember what any of it was about (this was fifteen years ago), just that sort of generalized 'It's all Good' shit that even then made me cringe. I think he's just spouting, so at some point I interject something. Everyone just looks at me. Outlander.
After a full moment's pause, he gets back into it. It is now clear to me that not everyone gets the talking stick on this day, and there is, in fact, something he is getting at. He keeps using the phrase "straight goods" to give validity to his statements. Just when I'm starting to get really bored, a man and a woman stand up.
Framed by the both of them, the guy who has been talking sheepishly starts to use legal language, leading up to pronouncing both of them husband and wife. "I'm an ordained minister!" he says. "Straight goods!"
Then we all go and get some barbecue.
The Libertarian party is always an interesting read. They swing back and forth between people who want to be able to do drugs, for instance, with no laws preventing them from doing so, and a bunch of people who don't want to pay taxes. That election cycle, it was the hippies running the show.
Not just for the drugs, I was going to vote for Dr. Fred. I liked his views that our tax dollars were far better spent on a multitude of things besides the Drug War. Not long after this party, the second of the two raids by state police happened. This netted what was reported as "weapons" (a hunting rifle, registered) and I don't remember whether or not Fred was dumb enough to keep any weed around his house in those days, but I suspect that he did.
I was on the rolls of the Libertarian party for years, but changed my affiliation to Democrat in time to vote Clinton in. Now, I'm just not so sure.
I'm not sure because as my friend Songdog once said, "the Democrats are the party of disappointment." True enough, and if you vote Libertarian, Independent, Green, Natural Law etc., your candidate is really going to lose. So what do you do? I can't support the Republicans-hell, not in 1990 and certainly not now. Armed revolt? Not likely without anti-tank devices, buddy.
The Libertarians in my state these days are the "I don't want to pay taxes and I think that government is evil, so give me a job in government" type. Jason Cox, the last candidate they had for governor, was a pretty good speaker and raised some good points, but I would no more vote him into government than I would pay a plumber who thinks that indoor plumbing is inherently evil. Besides, goatees and tiny diamond ear studs don't belong on my governor. Fashion thing, sorry.
There really wasn't a point to this post. Just another memory.



Blogger Erudite Redneck said...

Interesting. And if Mr. Maness brings his holier-than-thou act over here and says a peep about your, ah, casual use of the words "drugs" and "weed," I will help you drag his self-righteous ass out into the parking lot.

And I will turn my head as you "explain" to him just how big of an ass he can really be. I don't think he even GETS how big of a chickenshit he was being with you, and I know he has no clue how truly ignorant -- dictionary definition -- he is on so, so much. And he brags about it. Incredible.

I'm done with him and his self-affirming echo chamber over there for awhile. And Mark, if you're reading this, sorry. You did more damage with your own lil "LSD trip" that you might have imagined. Hard for me to give you the benefit of the doubt when you are so damn stingy with it yourself.


4:36 PM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

Damn! That was great, Press!
And there was, actually, a point to the story.
On Labor Day, 1990, my very pregnant girlfriend and I were walking down the street during this festival they used to do here called ArtQuake. We encountered Dr. Fred, and he was standing there, all five feet and nothin' of himself-still trying, despite the fact that he would never, ever win. He was running for governor standing on a street corner.
He was giving his blessing, in his way, to my baby, who was born later that evening, when we were approached by a squad of dumbshits who were in town for the Narcotics Anonymous convention.
They saw that he was one of those hippie fools who thought that they had the freedom to do what they wanted if it hurt no one else. They descended upon him by just screaming their little slogan:" N-A! N-A!"
We were lucky, I suppose, that they didn't do more than that. I forget what Dr. Fred said, but it seems that he saw, as I did, the shape of things to come.
The shape of things being that reasonable discourse being replaced by a buncha thugs, chanting, and an unpopular idea, however misguided, beings shunted aside by design, as opposed to rational debate. The dogs were upon us, and no one was gonna win, ultimately.
Hell, maybe my next several posts should be about drugs. It's been reeeeal interesting around Bachelor Pad One lately, and I have a lot of stories to tell, though many of them are sad.
And yes, my daughter really was born on Labor Day of that year.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Erudite Redneck said...

I could tell some funny "weed" tales, but too many people who peruse my place know me personally, are kin to me, I mean, and may not be aware that I, um, tried pot. Like a million times. :-) More drug posts!


7:10 PM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

All right, ya' hophead.

1:03 AM  

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