Hall Monitor 

Go Home, Hippies!

Leave it to hippies to turn an otherwise perfectly fine idea into an uproarious exercise in self-parody.

For instance! Marijuana. It's great, right? It smells good and makes everything funny. But in the hands of hippies, it's just another Cheech and Chong prop, what with all the "heeeeey, man" and "whoooaaa" and "groovin' out" to terrible music. Also? Free love. It's everything great about love, but without the emotional price tag! And yet hippies went and turned the '60s into a cesspool of weird blisters and discharges. Thanks for nothing, longhairs!

And now, they've made me hate the idea of peace. Last Wednesday, August 8, Commissioner Dan Saltzman brought forward a resolution supporting a national "Department of Peace," which would fund community-based conflict resolution measures. It's difficult to argue against non-violent solutions to societal problems, but after listening to nearly a half hour of testimony from supporters, I wanted to go out and punch a random stranger. Don't believe me? These words were uttered by someone whose last name is—I shit you not—Mystic-Healer: "We all have a soul energy vibration. It's like a soul internet connection."

Look, Portland City Council, if you want the rest of the country to take your exclusively symbolic resolutions seriously, we're going to need a gag order on anyone wearing a crystal necklace or anything made out of hemp.

The peace resolution wasn't Dan "Jerry Garcia" Saltzman's only time to shine last week; he also unveiled the Office of Sustainable Development's Portland Recycles program, which sets mandates for businesses to recycle and compost their waste.

But as inherently "Portland" as the program is, it didn't find a lot of fans during the council hearing, with business owners arguing against the mandate, environmentalists saying it doesn't go far enough, and neighbors complaining that it doesn't address garbage and recycling truck noise.

Yeeesh! Sometimes, you can't make anybody happy. Including local conspiracy theorists, who are worried that the upcoming nuclear terror drill in the city (irritatingly dubbed "Noble Resolve") could "go live."

The folks at Oregon Truth Alliance are warning that the August 20-24 Noble Resolve—which will test city, state, and federal agencies' response to a simulated "dirty bomb"—could become a reality. For evidence, they point to similar simulations occurring at the same time as the World Trade Center attack and the London subway bombings.

I totally believe it. One time, I spent hours playing The Sims, and my simulated character's tedious, lonely life totally became my real life. Spooky.

smoore@portlandmercury.com

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