Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   pheasant protest
Tuesday, December 28 2004
Ulster County has traditionally been a rather Republican slice of American pie, but that is changing quickly as a tsunami of former New York City residents flood the area. The earthquake that started this human tidal wave came on September 11th, 2001, although residents of the city have also been encouraged by low interest rates and the increasing quantity and quality of Hudson Valley cultural attractions, many of them transplanted from the City itself. The political balance of power in Ulster County is being affected by the influx of so many city slickers, who (on average) tend to be more reality-based and politically leftist than the inbred hillbillies they're displacing. As it stands now, the County Board has a Republican majority of only a single seat and there are already enough free thinkers and commie simps in their midst to cause real trouble for "the way we do things around here, boy."
One of the new board members hails from Woodstock, one of several people's republics within the county. He's actually a vegan, supposedly so hard core that he has the word "VEGAN" tattooed on the inside of his lower lip. Since getting on the board, he's been rooting through the good ole' boy backslapping and incestuous boosterism enshrined in such places as the county budget, and then tipping off his "friends in the movement" about any low hanging fruit he finds.
The fattest, lowest watermelon so far has been a multi-thousand dollar grant given by the county every year to a group of "hunters" who use this money to raise pheasants that they can then use as live skeet targets. Any birds that are maimed but not killed by the hunters' target practice are then turned over to a local bird sanctuary for rehabilitation, an expense for which neither the hunters nor the county pays. In the past the hunters received grants for as much as $20,000 to help them grow the targets for their bizarre form of entertainment, but by this year it had become enough of an embarrassment that the proposed grant was for $7000. Still, if any light were to be shined on this strange use of limited county funds, it seemed like it would be difficult to defend. This was were we came in.
By we I mostly mean the people with whom we'd spent Christmas Eve, the vegan photogenic Buddhists and their friends. Gretchen was on the phone numerous times both yesterday and today trying to scare up protestors for a demonstration to be held in front of the Ulster County Office Building in Uptown Kingston at 12:30 this afternoon. All that was needed was warm bodies, since that's the units of which demonstrations are made. I agreed to be one such body as did both our friends from Tillson, the former residents of a former Dug Hill Road meatlocker. Ms. Tillson was particularly exercised about the pheasant hunting from a fiscal perspective. To her it made no sense that the county would be paying for such nonsense when there was no money available to hire an art therapist (she's an art therapist).
Christ it was cold today, in the upper teens or low twenties, overcast, and with an occasionally savage wind. Such severe weather amplified the apparent turnout, since any rational observer would take that into account in terms of how motivated the protesters had to be. In the end there were maybe eighteen of us. The leaders of the demonstration passed-out handmade signs and chemical handwarmers and we went to it. We mostly just waved the signs in the air and made wisecracks among ourselves. "Maybe we should have a die in" I'd suggest. "I'm going to strip naked," Gretchen promised. A wigger teenager and his little brother joined the protest briefly just for kicks. Then a police car went by and paid almost no attention to us at all and it seemed unlikely any of us was going to be jailed for the cause. People beeped their horns as they passed, others looked on with that deer-in-the-headlights look common to the species of protest onlooker who regard any protest as possibly anti-American.
Eventually someone started chanting "Hey hey, ho ho, money for pheasant shooting has got to go" or something like that, and it inspired me to make up a few of my own chants such as "You're warm, I'm cold, pheasant shooting is getting old" With that our chanting devolved back into more wisecracks and joking.
It was a well-organized protest; the press had been called and they eventually arrived, took pictures, shot video, and interviewed protestors. We ended up being out in the cold for a good forty minutes so as to not disband before the press.
Afterwards most of us retreated to Gabriel's, the small Uptown restaurant that Gretchen loves but where I'd yet to have a satisfying meal. This time I ordered a tofu sandwich. It was okay for what it was, but I still don't really get the place. I'm sure Gabriel isa very nice man but he urgently needs to audit the class at the Culinary Institute of America called Bean Seasoning 101.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next