(PRIVATELY OWNED OREGON TREES PORTRAIT, ARTIST UNKNOWN)
I was unpleasantly reminded of something every Oregonian now knows,, the other day, when this nice kid called Tony went out and bought me some popcorn because I was out.of it. I told him “that’s my Saturday night, popcorn and olive oil with coconut butter on it, and lots of kosher salt.” Tony replied that, he was going to go camping, finally. But he said also “it’s really hard to find camping places anymore,, all the land has become privately owned, so all the campsites have been sold off.” That was the first I’d heard about that; “they even got rid of all the camping grounds? What are they doing with them?” “I don’t know, but they’re all disappearing, there aren’t any left. All of the land now in Oregon is PRIVATELY OWNED, and you can’t go and camp on that.”.
Of course I had heard the open rumor, that was true, that the Oregon legislature and the governor, had been busily selling off all of public forest land to private log cutters, just to pay for the stupid schools. And, all my other sources said, yes it was true. How could that possibly be? These were Democrats in office, right? Democrats rule Oregon state government? So how come they’re acting like Republicans? There doesn’t seem to be any difference anymore. You may as well vote in Republicans Democrats are doing exactly the same thing. – – Selling off the public forest lands so there would be nothing left eventually for anyone to camp on, unless he was camping in his own backyard.
“That is so stupid of the Oregon State people, I mean the guys at the top, they’re going to sell off all the public land and forest land, to support the schools, and then it will all be used up and all the forests will be gone.– – and knowing Oregon schools, those kids won’t be any smarter than they were when they started.” (I had only gone to school in Oregon, in Eugene, in the Santa Clara elementary school, which also no longer existed. But, since there were never any jobs in Oregon, my family had decamped to Sacramento California, so our dad could work in the missile industry for just about nine or 10 years, until we came back here.)
Needless to say, at those times, in those years, (I’m 69 years old, so that was about during the early and mid-60s.) Sacramento California schools of that time were excellent, very very good. I remember that Bella Vista high school had two swimming pools, art classes, and athletic program for boys and girls, music classes, extracurricular activities after school. And the teachers were really good too. It was one of the main reasons Oregonians decamped to California with their kids, was to get better schools for them.
“say, Tony are there any wilderness areas left anymore, you can go out and do your own camping in that?” I asked him, mystified. “Well,” he replied, in a frustrated manner, “that’s if you can find any wilderness areas anymore, to camp in. Everybody owns it privately, they won’t let you camp on that! I’m sure they wouldn’t.” I thank him for giving me the popcorn, and thought about the good old days, at least in one manner of speaking, the good old days were when we actually had PUBLIC FORESTS, and lots of very big public parks.
I sure remember those! They were wonderful, they didn’t cost you money either. Neither did it cost you money to go to the beaches.–but now, there were no longer any PUBLICLLY OWNED beaches, and PUBLICLY OWNED forest land in camping and parks. I remembered all the picnics; I remembered all the cold weather picnics at the beach where you went bundled up in coats and scarves, but the god damn beach was free.
but of course now the public didn’t own a god damn thing. Since a lot of people had also lost their homes, in the declining years of Oregon, Democrats in the legislature had made very sure that no real business or manufacturing came here, but then there was no money for schools, so they decided to start selling off all the public forest land to private lumber companies to support the schools.that was really good thinking for Democrats wasn’t it?
Weren’t they supposed to be the “environmental, carbon- foot conscious, GREEN, organic, and save– the whales– and save -the- land – bunch”?
I asked Caroline when she came over, exactly the same question.”you’re supposed to know so much about this crowd, Carolyn, what the hell are the environmental activists doing? What are they doing about this?” She replied, “oh they’re just in the Eugene weekly newspaper, writing about junk, and doing a column called “activists” where they describe what the currently popular social – responsible activities are.. Like now, they’re very fixated on getting everybody to go to the Saturday farmersmarket, and the regular farmers market, and getting them to spend all their food stamps, even if they just amount to $15, on all the yummy , highly expensive farmers produce here, from small farms.that’s what they’re doing.”
“so there aren’t really a lot of environmental people hopping on this, and actually doing anything to stop this?” I asked. “Aren’t they protesting against what the Legislature is doing?” “Well, I think one bunch,” said Carolyn sadly, “were all hooked into a huge net over the Portland bridge, deciding to stay up on a huge net on the bridge, and stay there for days and days to demonstrate – – you know, against everything.” Somehow that didn’t sound very PRACTICAL or EFFECTIVE to me. Hoisting yourself into a net over the bridge for a bunch of days, trying to impress the legislature with how masochistic you are, doesn’t sound very liable to change their minds.”not anything more useful than that?” I queried.
“well,” said Carolyn, looking at me; “what would you do to be more effective?” “Well,” I replied, I think some more legal and political activities would be a lot more pointed in the right direction. For example, why don’t they get some legal help and sue the hell out of the legislature for selling off all the public forests? Nobody’s trying to do that! There must be plenty of legal things,, they could do because they’re breaking the law! They probably are! But nobody’s paying attention to it?” “Nobody except people like us, who were worried about it,” said Carolyn gently, “I think they’d rather demonstrate by hanging themselves up for days without eating, looking like Gandhi, and not actually doing anything effective to stop them.” “also, they could look into legally throwing those people out of office, you know, kind of like Nixon, or what they tried to do to Clinton, for all his scandalous activities.”—“no, that would be too effective and straightforward for them, and it would not require any colorful demonstrating.”
I guess these are not considered scandalous activities.I guess they’re just considered as “the right of the Oregon Legislature to do anything they damn well please, as usual.” BOY, would I like to get those guys alone late at night, somewhere where they didn’t have all their guards around them, and we had already sorted out a bunch of hostile angry extreme environmental people, so they could have a little party together. Nobody ever thinks of that,, whatever happened to riding people out of town tarred and feathered on a rail?”
“I think it’s considered very antisocial and politically naïve,” returned Caroline. “Righteous anger doesn’t seem to be THERE in the environmentally correct public anymore. If there ever was any..I think it’s all diverted into making small farmers feel loved and cared for by the buying public.you know, come in and use your food stamps on our LETTUCE, PLEASE, we’re “locally-grown.”,
“but I’m sure they all know about this,”I continued. There does seem to be a lack of ACTION in the ENVIRONMENTALLY AWARE public. They like to demonstrate, they like to go to big fat conventions every year, at the University of Oregon, with all the other environmental chums; but they don’t actually do anything...they twiddle their environmental thumbs, and make themselves feel very righteous.”
“speaking of that big fat environmental conference, that goes on every year,, at the University of Oregon? – – Just exactly what do they do anyway?” “Carolyn replied that they usually got together in big meetings, and had fun talking about stuff, and they had environmentalists from Canada, and other places all meet up, and I guess they also had wonderful lunches they planned.and even the FBI thought it was a good time, so they came secretly.”
“what is this all got to do with trying to keep the Oregon legislature from selling off all the public forest lands to private logging companies?” I finally demanded. “Well,” replied Carolyn mystified also, “I guess they talk a really good game at those conventions, but when it comes to doing anything practical and stopping lots of people in Oregon from chopping down all our trees, that’s not something they want to do in their game.you know, it’s, kind of very “civil disobedience”, and nowadays nobody does that. At least not very effectively.”she paused for effect;
“I guess being an environmentalist socially,, and getting your name all over letterheads and websites,, is a lot more fun than going out with a couple of shotguns late at night, so you know you won’t be caught.. That’s too dangerous!” I replied, “yes, I can see how young people now and people in the environmentally conscious game, kind of want to play it COOL – – and not go against the legislature or the state. Pity! Real civil disobedience can be a lot of fun and very satisfying sometimes.– – but then you have to take some kind of chances, and I guess, that’s too much to ask now. It might hurt your reputation actually doing anything about things.– – and they probably don’t want to sue them either, too time-consuming.”
“the trouble with you,” said Carolyn, smiling, “is that you came from a different generation. People in your generation actually did get into trouble, burned their bras, and did even worse civil disobedience, you know, and now days people just aren’t like that anymore.they’re too worried about their credit rating, with their credit card company.besides, all those wonderful environmental conferences at the University of Oregon law school, are just a lot more fun to TALK TALK TALK and have nice lunches and then TALK a lot more.. Sounds like a lot more fun to me and easier.”
YEAH, EASIER.I was very disappointed, and I felt mysteriously incredibly old. Out of it, not COOL anymore. Now, it was a lot cooler to be a small Oregon farmer, and get everybody to use their food stamps on you. Never mind what happened to the public forests. I guess that was not considered COOL anymore to be concerned about them.after all, if all the forests were gone, people would still have their cars, and their freeways, and their highways,and all their smog, and all their crap. Especially all their electronic crap.
Face it, its not OREGON ANY MORE. All the natives have mostly moved away, and foreigners have invaded the land, trashed the public forests,sold them to lumber companies, and all the “environmentalists” are busy in socially-active talking-groups, where reality has been reduced to THEORY and conferences; and lynchings, barn–burnings, neck-tie parties, and KLU KLUX KLAN activities have been reduced to YAK YAK YAK, and Democrat politicians, legislature illegal acts (and others) are ignored and disregarded by young people.
–And Old Oregon and its forests have been delegated to an old person’s MIND,the only place they will eventually exist.—In the memory of natives.Too bad. It really did used to be a BEAUTIFUL STATE. I could disregard the present shape of things too; as much as all those legal pot-smokers and pot-shop-owners in Oregon.I still think MINE was a more beautiful memory any how.At least at one time, it was real.
(Sandraminadotty, learning to ignore how Oregon gets sold off, piece by piece, until we look like the great salt flats. I am not young now, so MY civil disobedience would amt. to throwing banana peels at the Salem court-house, which just aint very effective, you-all!) 😦