I love this story.
Homeless people suck.
I, too, love this story.
just goes to show you, smug people are assholes regardless if they're rich republican types or irritating dirty hippies...
I also love this story ... because it's further demonstration of the fact that Eli Sanders is an insufferable, self-righteous, pompous ass.
I, too, as well, love this story.
I think you handled the situation 100%. The only other thing I could think of pointing out would be that without all of us going to work, he'd have no fucking fancy fountain to dip his worthless feet in. Word.
I probably would have handled it differently, but I'd've felt the same way about it.
Damn Eli. You are one easy person to annoy. You need to chill out a little.
This might've been a good idea LAST Tuesday, but it was 60 degrees and cloudy this morning. This hippie has shitty timing. Like most hippies.
And the circle is complete.
at the very least, that's the first hippy in history w/ cleanish feet.
Oh, Eli, that's beautiful! That's exactly what you should have said to it.
I hope they chlorinate that water.
Blecch. I wouldn't wade in that water. I looked in there one afternoon and there was so much floating crap in there. I hope happy Mr. Hippie doesn't have any broken skin on his feet.
Well written, excellent response.
A beautiful story. Eli, you made me smile for the first time today.
If I had the luxury of doing nothing on a Tuesday morning, I'd be pretty smug too. But I'm not the type to rub other people's faces in it.
Next time, make sure you take his picture and post it at Slog so we know not to give him the change in our pockets that we earned by working.
Do not ever move to the Bay Area if this annoys you. Just sayin.
And I agree with PA Native -- chill. This is just a silly story. Nothing beautiful about it.
Hippies.... hippies all around me, they say they wanna save the world, but all they do is smoke pot and smell bad.
I like how Eli fills us the readers in on all his thoughtful ruminations, while the poor hippie only is told "That's true" and "Fuck you."
I worked at a hippie fest outside SF a few weeks ago. I'd never seen anything like it before. Hippies paying for things with their (parents?) Amex gold cards, going in and out of port-o-potties barefoot...
the park is being overun with meth-heads and homeless wastes of oxygen. the other day a cracked out fucker forced this couple on a bench to leave because his stinking, rotting flesh wouldn't leave them alone. cal anderson is nice but the cops need to police it better so real tax-paying citizens don't have to be harrassed by meth heads and homeless garbage.
flame away at my lack of understanding their problems but i could give a fuck about their problems.
Personally, I think this is the perfect metaphor for SLOG.
Some self-righteous, ultra-cool Stranger writer puts up a post to show us they have greater knowledge, or exist on a higher plane than the rest of us. We then either join them in the pool, or tell them to fuck off.
Hippies have no power in our society, yet everyone seems threatened by them. What is up with that? Eli felt he had to swear at this man that was basically doing nothing.
Hippies are annoying, big freakin' suprise. Not a threat and not worth ganging up on for the billionth time.
So, Eli, all I got from this story was that you're rude and not open minded.
Was that your point?
If so, you should move to NYC.
Elis was right because we shouldn't feel condescended to by some know nothing dirt bag feeding off the fat of the land. If squares are wrong to be hatefull at social progress and liberation that comes with our vast wealth then hippies are just as wrong for not understanding what made all this progress happen was due in part to americans going to work 40 hrs a week.
Will in Seattle,
What the fuck does putting your bare feet in a fountain instead of going to work have to do with having an open mind?
What's your point here? Kick off the shoes and stand in the warm sun all day? Great advice. Way to fight the system. Way to show those Red Bushies, eh?
Man, I would have said a lot more than fuck you. I would have informed him he was a "Master of the Obvious" and more than that a dumb shit for marinating his feet in whatever piss and bacteria that are growing in that fountain.
complain about what eli said all you want, i personally think nothing made that hippie happier than to hear those words. it validated him and his behavior.
good story: everybody wins.
You shoulda beat the crap out of him. Me and My boyz would have stopped his head.
Yo y'all, I meant "stomped."
Will in Seattle has PMS today.
As for #22, amen brother.
The homeless problem in this city is horrible. My SO and me went to see 300, when some bum snuck in, smelled like ashtray/urine/ketosis proceed to stink everything up and drank out of a bottle of MD, then proceeded to passout and snore through the last half of the movie.
Of course, we got up to move, but in the process I gave him an appropriately swift kick in his legs to let him know he aint worth crap.
I was astonished as to how many people sat around and took it.
Ah, liberal Seattlites, spineless since '92.
I love this story, and I love Eli's responses. The first was polite and measured, the second simply beautiful.
I'm glad all of you have stopped writing about orientation discrimination, drug laws, SPD actions, ecce homo, evil straight parents, Dan's ancient support for the war, Hilary, the viaduct, and the eastside long enough to lay a whole bunch of right wing shit at the feet of some innocuous hippy:
"irritating dirty hippies"
"I hope they chlorinate that water"
"all they do is smoke pot and smell bad"
"homeless wastes of oxygen"
"know nothing dirt bag"
Jesus H Tapdancing Christ, did I somehow switch over to the Wall Street Journal web site by accident?
@28 i agree! while he was be happy left thinking that he was just too revolutionarily radical for you, i'd rather leave him thinking he really wasn't on to anything new. "master of the obvious" works great for that. even, "i like my job" might give him pause. or get all persecutioncomplex-tian and say, "stop judging me!"
"i have considered your approach to life and find that, at this time, it would be neither beneficial for me or for those i care about. that you condescendingly reproach me for this is an affront to the very ideas you would seem to be championing."
Maybe you should write in to "Ask an Uptight Seattleite" and see how he would have handled it?
Eli, I think you just had a run-in with Seattle Weakly's "Uptight Seattleite."
Did he have an NPR tote bag?
damn you, napoleon! beat me to it.
No one is obligated to stop and talk to you because you're standing in a fountain, dispensing unsolicited wisdom.
If a chat'n'go nod to the guy and then a post-polite "fuck you" wasn't enough of a stop sign for The Insightful Public Foot Soaker, I suppose he could have done something more about it. Maybe he could have tromped backwards in front of Eli the rest of the way to work, describing other mirthful delights, including how they make you feel if you allow yourself to really enjoy them.
But, lo, he just fucked off into the background. Perfect.
If you are annoyed by dirtbags and near-do-wells insulting you in public, you must be a wall street journal neo-con.
I thought hippies got jobs when Jerry died.
Comeback: "If you had a job, you could go to work too!"
Why are hippies so threatening?
-- Best slog of the day, thanx Eli... fun! I deal with "those types" every morning when running 'round Cal Anderson park. You did well with him. : )
Not threatening, just incredibly annoying.
what KIND of hippy was this? that's so important to understanding the story.
1. was he a homeless dirtball hippy?
2. was he a trustafarian hippy?
3. was he a uptight-seattleite hippy?
because only #2 is truly annoying.
I probably would have screamed at him about how without my fucking taxes, he wouldn't have a fountain to dip his fucking feet in, so he should be happy that I'm working. Of course, I'm only in Cal Anderson with my dog, and he's so goddamn cute that people never veer into politics. They just ask me what breed he is and scritch him behind the ears.
So is Eli the pot or the kettle in this case?
I keep wondering if the hippie was one of the hippie programmers I used to see wandering around building 2 back in the early 90s. You know, when Microsoft stock options were really worth something?
I could easily see one of those guys retiring to walk in fountains, juggle, and chat with financial advisors about various responsible investments.
"If so, you should move to NYC."
Will in Seattle has this down perfectly. I wish I could move back. Seattle needs a little grit.
GODDAMN HIPPIES! I HATE THEM!
We must rid southpark of all the hippies.
This same guy will probably hit you up for change on your way home from work.
No one has pointed it out in this thread, but there are little signs up along the concrete borders of the water fixture saying, in effect to "stay out of the water". (not that anyone notices or that law enforced) It is a reservoir and all (Thank God for Brita filters). Eli would have been a bigger downer for the hippie by being the oh-so inclusive, can’t we all just march together face of The Man by pointing out the rules.
The only thing more irritating than a dirty self-righteous hippie is an irritating self-righteous Stranger staffer.
Fuck I hate Seattle.
At least the hippie who knows how to enjoy himself and wants you to enjoy yourself, too, isn't a feckless hipster who never enjoys himself and doesn't want you to enjoy yourself, either.
Man, sure are a lot of homeless bashing skinheads on today.
You guys get your jollies from that?
It's summer, stop harshing my mellow.
He's probably a multi-millionaire too, but you'll never know, mr. dayjob. Lots more than you think, mr. dressed up in black too cool for school wish i was in NYC instead of Seattle ...
If you don't like it here ... move.
I agree, it's never fun to have that self-righteous crap. If the hippie really wanted Eli to enjoy himself, why the snide remarks? Why impose your opinion when it's not asked for?
And another thing, what's with all that hippie dancing at summer festivals? Yuck!
ha ha ha! You met the Uptight Seattlite from that other local cage-liner!!!
Your revolution is over, hippie! Condolences! The bums LOST!!!! My advice to you is to do what your PARENTS did: GET A JOB, SIR! THE BUMS WILL ALWAYS LOSE!!!! DO YOU HEAR ME?!?!?!! THE BUMS WILL ALWAYS ....
"Eli felt he had to swear at this man that was basically doing nothing"
He was smugly lording it over someone else having to go to work while he didn't. I would have told him to go fuck himself too.
Phnics @ 56. The reservoir is underground, and there is not connection between the water in the fountain and relfecting pool and the water in the reservoir. Asking people to stay our of the water in Cal Anderson park is like asking the unmarried to abstain from sex, or asking the wind not to blow. It is an impossible request.
"lay a whole bunch of right wing shit at the feet of some innocuous hippy:"
You don't have to be a right-winger to hate dirty, smelly, worthless hippies.
i woulda said "Work makes me happy because I do work that i like, plus i dont have to bathe in a fountain to assert my individuality or break from the system. not only that, i eat well, have good sex, and have a blast doign what im doing...it just happens to be different from you."
"Man, sure are a lot of homeless bashing skinheads on today."
"It's summer, stop harshing my mellow."
So go outside, or read something other than what is obviously going to be a hippy bashing thread! YOU are harshing OUR bashing!
Why is everyone assuming this hippie is homeless?
Rick Steves @ 57 - That's cool. How do you like Edmonds?
Clydesdale @ 69
Give me my moneybelt, comfortable shoes and two tickets to Paris where everyone smells bad. Not just hippies.
This whole conflict is almost as much fun as the Hempfest vs. SAM catfight.
I agree that this was a well written post. Dude can flat out write good sometimes. It makes me think about some things though.
Some people can certainly be annoying,but no one really ever bothers me, and as I've gotten older Ive learned to walk away from potential fights. This was not always the case.
My only rule is if youre going to be a bad ass to somebody whose ass you can kick, than you should be a bad ass to somebody whose ass you can not kick or you think is at least going to make you sweat if he decides to charge you, or at the very least is going to make you use your brazilian jiu jitsu moves.
I wonder if Eli would have said the same thing to a big ass muscled dude with tats on his neck and a scar across his face who said something annoying and rude as clearly this hippy did. Who knows, maybe he would have. Not knowing Eli is hard to make that assesment.
But I wonder, what's the use if you can only practice being an assertive bad ass with a nutty hippy who is not going to respond? I doubt very much that a mentaly ill hippy is going to throw down with you if you tell him to f off. I am not saying that this person didnt deserve to be told to f off.
Im not saying Eli does not practice consistet assertiveness, Im just saying cuz I have watched many people be tough with wimps and bow their heads with thugs. All Im saying is one should be consistent in one's fearlesness even if you get your ass kicked ocassionally, or one should be consistent in walking away from potential confrontations. If you pick to be fearless with weaklings than thats not really assertive fearlesness.
With all due respect, if you can do it to anybody than props, if not than...
Being a woman, I get a lot more attention from grubby men than you ever will, Eli. If that comment bothered you that much, it's about time you learned to get over yourself.
Well-spoken, SeMe, and good advice. A quirk to consider in Seattle, though, is that oftentimes people here will step on your toes, get in your space, fuck with you or your friends thinking that you're just gonna take it like a right-oner. Like it's for sport. It's kind of "Seattle" to play that, to try to exploit that.
Being that I'm well-mannered and going about my business, that's one thing I have a hard time with. It's like you're getting played into the 'weakling' role without even having anything to do with it, and either you can accept it or not. Weird game, hunh?
You're right, SeMe, about that you could end up getting your ass kicked, but the odds are better that you can get people to fuck off by calling bullshit on their bullshit.
You're complaining about some asshole acting superior? Geez, that's the staff mantra at The Stranger.
"The type who’s doing something utterly unremarkable, something barely transgressive at all, and who acts as if he’s just levitated the Pentagon or discovered the key to changing the universe and needs to share this key with all of us poor saps who — horrors — are busy rushing off to work."
Have you ever read Josh Feit on jazz? Erica Barnett on cars? These are parodies of themselves.
You being ironic, right?
You sly dog.
Rick Steves, please don't hate Seattle. Not all of us have an inherent disdain for smelly, fountain-fouling hippies. Eli has disdain for this particular hippie who got in his face. I don't care for smelly hippies either, but accept them as part of our landscape. It's part of the magic that is the PacNW. I do, though, hate comfy-shoe wearing, money belt-carrying Americans with maps in their faces in Paris. But I still love your shows and accept comfy show-wearing Americans as part of the Paris landscape. I also adore smell Parisians. They are part of the magic that is Paris. Spread the love. And keep on keepin' on; your show is my favorite thing on tv.
Sorry, smelly Parisians.
Eli have Dan give you the iPod he hates, put a bunch of tunes on it (maybe that new rock opera Tommy) and walk around with the little buds in your ears. Ignore the hippy, be happy.
Gawd, I hate those freaking preachy hippie types who go around sniffing their own B.O. and think about their sac-energy all day long. And want to SHARE. Way to knee him in the junk, Eli, 'bout time you stopped drinking the Stranger's oh-so-gentle Kool-Aid. You know what's even more gross than Playing-in-the-Pond boy? Touchy-enlightened 50-ish management farts who brag about their yoga classes in meetings and you feel like Sting just tea-bagged you.
36: There's nothing surprising about the nastiness of some of the comments. Underlying the pretenses of liberal tolerance is a really nasty reactionary undercurrent that most propertied, well off professionals have. Tolerance only goes as far as convenience. If you're a well off gay pot smoker in Seattle you might believe in same sex marriage and legalizing pot because you like those things, but because you have equity and a nice home in a well to do neighborhood most of your economic/class politics are going to reflect fiscally conservative beliefs: progressive income tax is bad, homeless, hip hop clubs and minorities threaten property value, the poor just want to rob you and waste your tax dollars, people with mental problems or addiction to hard drugs are human garbage that threaten the stability of society, and anyone who disagrees are socialists and dirty hippies etc.
That said, that fountain hippy would have annoyed the living shit out of me.
@ 30 "good story: everybody wins."
I agree. There were two perspectives, and each ended up happy at the end. The details don't matter much. Considering the extremely different perspectives is interesting, though.
I'm not sure how Eli Sanders came up with the idea that this guy thought he was "changing the universe" by just hanging out in the park. It seemed like he was just enjoying another day of being alive. How often do we do that? Are we supposed to feel smugly superior because we have bullshit jobs and mortgages and car payments and televisions?
And a bunch of other comments on here turned it into something political. And hateful. @36 sums it up well. Lot of weird anger there.
Whatever, it's just a story. Two very different viewpoints. Personally, as a full-time student and loather of 9 to 5 life, I'm probably more philosophically aligned with "hippie man." But at least Eli got in his self-important dig. And "hippie man" rightly couldn't care less. Everybody wins.
Jay @ 80
I'm sorry that your last sentence kind of nullifies what you were saying. Because I agree with your statement that "Tolerance only goes as far as convenience" around here. A lot of so-called progressive people are surprisingly intolerant.
I don't think the guy would have annoyed the shit out of me. If he said "If you took your shoes off you could do this, too" to me, I probably would have smiled at him, looked in the water, and said "Not in that filth, bro. But, hey-- you do what you want." I probably would have smiled at him again, and continued on my way. Less hate, more health.
Jebus Eli, tense much?
Maybe I was a hippie in a past life or something, but I'd probably have taken my shoes off, rolled up my pants, and waded in the fountain for a minute... Then walk to work. Or maybe it's the little kid in me. I don't know. But it sounds like fun to me.
And as a practical matter, what is the difference between a hippie wading in the fountain at Cal Anderson Park, and a hundred homos wading in the fountain at the Seattle Center. Other than, you know, he's a stinking hippie who obviously doesn't deserve to breath the same air as the working class.
82: I certainly wouldn't have said anything mean to him, I would have just kept walking.
I find myself irritated that my knowledge of how fucking annoying the hippie sounds has been tainted by the author's overharsh (and not even delightfully bubble-bursting, like #37's "Stop judging me!) response and the classist bullshit that has followed here.
I totally 'resonate' (lol) with Eli and this story; not because of anything to do with homeless people, hippies not working, dirty feet, etc etc etc. But simply because the charm of sanctimoniously 'being' (instead of 'doing', or 'having') went out round about 1974. And unlike platform shoes and swinger clubs, it hasn't come back.
Thanks, Eli, great post. Not sure I'm seeing the smugness so many others are seeing; it's there, but I get the feeling you know that ... which, for me, changes the self-righteous tone.
OMFG People are using "hipster" in THIS comments thread as well.
...how funny and kind of ironic...the stranger is one of the most condescending, preachy, whiney, smug, irrogant, papers i read......which i read for entertainement...i bet anything that guy was simply trying to get eli to stop and smell the roses...
I agree completely with Eli's sentiments. Smug condescension is even less welcome when it comes wrapped in a facade of self-proclaimed harmony.
Somehow in the comments thread, though, our smug hippie became a homeless, jobless pan-handler with gross hygiene. Blue-sky assertions, all.
Jay @80 seems to be on to something, but I wonder if part of it isn't also a lot of working-class lefties pissed off about years of being lumped in to a hippie stereotype just for their politics or social views.
Ecce Homo @34, you missed an important typo in your post. It should read:
"...I gave him an appropriately swift kick in his legs to let him know I aint worth crap."
I would argue that Seattle has significantly fewer of those types -- people who like to fuck with you because they get off on it and because they can. What's striking is that no one in Seattle calls them out on it. Yesterday, on the bus, some guy was loudly ranting about something or other. For the first time in the five years I've lived here, someone actually told him to shut the fuck up.
In contrast, New York is crawling with those kinds of assholes. The difference is that New Yorkers feel more empowered (probably due to necessity more than anything else) not to take their shit.
I agree. I grew up in North Philly. There you diss somebody, you get knocked out. Simple. There, some people spend their times thinking of ways to jack you or violate you. Sometimes they fight, and you have to fight back. Or you get capped. Thus Philly leads so far in honor murders. I love Philly, but parts of it I dont miss.
I have never had that problem here. Never. And I have always lived in the so called bad parts of town, even before they were gentrified. But I see Lloyd's point.
I still say, if you can say it to a wimp, say it to a non wimp. Sometimes you will have to fight, sometimes you will not. If you cant be consistent in your bad assness than why get props? Basically, you have decided I can take this dude, so Im gonna tell him to f off. It is certainly your right, but youre not really a bad ass or you havent earned a right to feel good unless you do that to everybody, including those who will give u a bit of a fight. Thats all.
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