Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Wednesday, August 18, 2004



Europe, home to the glories of religion throughout the ages--the glimmering cathedrals of Valencia, the timeless grace of Notre Dame in Paris, the soaring bravado of La Sagred Familia in Barcelona, the faded Moorish opulence of the Alhambra. Europe, home to the most important art treasures on the planet--the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, the works of Goya, el Greco and Bosch at the Prado, the pinnacles of Picasso´s career spread over the continent. Europe, home of the glittering beaches on the Mediterranean and the majestic beauty of the Alps.

As I travel from wonder to wonder on this aged continent, there is but one thing that mars the splendor around me:

Those damn, dirty hippies.

They´re goddamn everywhere. As we walked from the train station in Valencia toward the Plaza Reina, we passed two patchouli-smelling, white-boy-dread-locked, multiply-pierced and tattooed bums. They ruined the street for me. On our train from Bordeaux to Irun, we were forced to share a compartment with about four chain-smoking, hairy little shitheads, smoking unfiltered Camels or rolling their own. They don´t open the window to do this. Sometimes they even did it with the door closed. Worse, when we opened the goddamn door, there was a fucking drum circle going on in the next compartment over. They all had their fucking tablas or tom-toms or what-fucking-ever and they would pound on with the same stupid goddamn beat for a half an hour. And the ones who left their drums at Burning Man felt free to join in by pounding on the walls and doors.

Maybe I´m just old. Maybe that´s it. Was there a time when I would have been thrilled to sit with unbathed morons still in mourning for Jerry Garcia? Was there a time when, say, strolling through Golden Gate park, I would have dropped a hit of ecstasy or acid or whatever the hell they´re on and spun around for two hours, thinking I´d found spirituality when I was just fucking dizzy? Was there a time when all this would´ve been preferable to sitting quietly in first-class non-smoking with my wife beside me reading a good book?

Perhaps. Perhaps I´ve just grown intolerant. Perhaps it´s actually not hypocritical to sit there--with the perfectly worn Doc Martens and the tongue, eyebrow, penis and armpit piercings that mumsy and dadsy bought for you before you declared them bourgeois and had them book you first class fare to Madrid so you could join your "anarchist" friends--and beg for change. Perhaps it´s not idiotic to go to protest after protest without having formed any kind of clear idea of what the fucking issues are. Perhaps these people are admirable. But if they are, dear fucking god shoot me.

Also, and this should go without saying, this does not apply to cute hippie chicks who go around practically nude and giggle and dance. See, they´re fun to look at, so we exclude them from this rant.

And now, back to Barcelona with me. Ciao.

Nice. - beige1
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