Opinion » Shredder

I just can't even


Apparently, Farmer Bob is at it again, cropdusting his fields with stupid gas, and given the record-level turnout of NIMBY, melodramatic, and just plain small-minded boobs over the course of the last week, there must have been one hell of a prevailing wind.

Unfortunately, due to the sheer quantity of petty provincials, I can’t give each incident the space it really deserves. So I’ll start by saying that you can’t fully comprehend the petty depths people are willing to sink to until you see them get worked up over campaign signs or a meaningless online poll or a family legally growing pot in their backyard.

Somehow, every time the paper posts an online poll about an election, one silly candidate—in this case, 4th district supervisorial candidate Lynn Compton—has followers who forget that the online poll is meaningless and the winner of said poll receives absolutely nothing. Still, someone always inspires their followers to flood the poll with votes. Inevitably, the supporters for the candidates who didn’t care enough to try to flood the poll have an absolute hissy, the likes of which I have not seen since my cousin’s 2-year-old didn’t get the Baby Ruth bar he wanted at Walmart. This is my way of formally telling Lois Hughes, Peter Keith, and Trudy Jarratt that they’re absolutely correct! Good citizens spend every second of their time monitoring weekly Internet polls and howling about how the results are proof that the nation’s voting systems are rigged! Boo! Something about democracy, you filthy, liberal rag!

I’m not going to point out that the paper comes out very early Thursday morning, meaning that it spends Wednesday night at the printer, meaning that any rational person should probably be capable of deducing that the poll actually closes some time on Wednesday, even if some knucklehead in editorial didn’t have time to change the poll until the following morning. Also, I want to make it very clear that I am emphatically NOT accusing Hughes, Keith, or Jarratt of attitudes or behaviors even approximating rational and level headed. But I feel bad about the fact that they were obviously exposed to indecently high quantities of Farmer Bob’s stupid gas, so I took the liberty of assembling a list of legitimate, not-at-all-manufactured-in-your-head reasons to be outraged. These include net neutrality, those kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls, student debt, the fact that corporations are legally considered people, global warming, and everything else I’m about to tell you in the next 517 words. 

The San Luis Obispo City Council is using a couple of NIMBYs—you know, the folks who buy a house and then somehow think they get to dictate everything that happens within a 50-mile radius—who complained about the fact that their neighbor was legally growing marijuana as an excuse to try to ban anyone from growing weed. Y’know, in case we mistakenly thought we were living in 2014 in a country that seemed to be evolving toward a more grown-up and tolerant attitude regarding marijuana. I mean, it is legal in several states.

The worst part of all this is the glee with which the city leapt at the first opportunity to shut down growing operations. The fact that there’s little justification beyond a whiny neighbor or two who can’t point to any illegal incidents is just further proof of the fact that this City Council has a lot more in common with former Sheriff Pat Hedges than anyone wants to acknowledge—and look how that turned out.

Not only did the city not even bother meeting with the family at the heart of the issue before slapping together an ordinance to ban all outdoor pot production, but they included unsubstantiated and untrue arguments in their report, including that a teenager was sleeping outside with a shotgun to protect the plants, when, in fact, the family doesn’t own a gun. Furthermore, references to aggressive animals were apparently a Yorkshire poodle the family owns, and a 3-month old pit bull they babysat once. I’m having trouble seeing how the neighbors would feel threatened by a puppy and an animal often seen in public wearing a sweater. Or maybe exaggerating the truth—also known as lying—was the best way of getting the city’s attention. Still, these are details the city might consider confirming before writing them into an official report or ordinance; this is some Cal Coast News level incompetence here, and it doesn’t leave anyone looking very good.

Furthermore, it takes a special kind of nitwit to complain because his or her neighbor happens to own something valuable on their property. Are you scared you’re going to be robbed because your neighbor drives a flashy sports car or owns an expensive art collection? Should we place limits on the total value of property in someone’s home in order to ensure that their neighbors can sleep soundly at night? And, even if you were, do you think broadcasting their location and the value of their property is really the best way to ensure your security? Honestly, Brett Bargenquast and Michael and Denise Shandroff, you must have one hell of a sense of entitlement in order to try to dictate what takes place on someone else’s property. And congratulations to the city for translating that paranoia into an outright ban on outdoor cultivation. Truly, SLO remains America’s Happiest of Cities, where we ban all things uncomfortable and elevate neighborhood nuisance complaints to public policy. Beware, you homeless, anyone who stopped going to church, and those who wear white before Memorial Day—you’re next.


Shredder is exhausted. Send restorative reason to shredder@newtimesslo.com.


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