Thursday, June 29, 2006

Bread, Circuses, and My Hometown

I am very concerned for Yreka...

Yreka, California, is a small town. Not much happens there. It's socially conservative - tremendously so. With the fall of the resource (logging) based economy, it is increasingly becoming a retirement community. There aren't many good jobs... If you aren't working for the government in some capacity, as a Yrekan you're likely making minimum wage or very close to that. Culturally, the place is rather dead. Very little happens in terms of social events that doesn't involve the few dive bars in town. The place can be excruciatingly boring for a teenager, and as a result, the teenagers often get up to no good...

But Yreka is tremendously beautiful. It has the perks of a small town - it's safe, it's clean, it moves at a managable pace, and there's a strong social (if inactive) network to support you. And the physical beauty of the surrounding Siskiyou County is amazing. And as a native Sisqan, I am convinced that I must eventually move back to this place. I am also convinced that many of my friends - fellow Sisqans - will end up there too. But if I am to spend a significant portion of my remaining life in Siskiyou County, I think I'm going to need it to change. I want there to be more economic opportinity. I want there to be viable working-class jobs. I want there to be enough higher-end jobs to encourage more native Sisqans to return after attaining their college degrees. I want Siskiyou County to adapt to the post-resource era - I want the local economy to find a way to work things out such that there are good jobs across the spectrum - this means more than just lots of money for developers and minimum wage for the waitresses and bus-boys serving the retirees from the Bay Area. I want there to be cultural events... I want bands playing gigs. I want poetry readings. I want art exhibitions. I want Yreka and Siskioyou County to be alive and balanced, and I want for youth to have a role in these places.

I want all of that, but this is what we are
getting instead:





















Yes, instead of wholesome, intellectually-tinged cultural events, Yreka is now getting the savagery of "cage fighting." Or "ultimate fighting." Or "mixed martial arts." Or whatever you want to call it. Whatever the case, it's for troglodytes. And I'm not going to back down from that statement.

This is rock bottom. I realize that small-scale "cage fighting" is gaining popularity across the country, but it disturbs me that this is what Yreka has chosen to latch on to. This is cancerous. This path will not lead to new, beneficial businesses moving into town. This will not lead to economic opportunity and prosperity. This path will lead to hopital bills and welfare moms. This is exactly the kind of thing that makes city slickers snidely snicker at us, the low-life country bumpkins. Why don't we just spend all our paychecks on Natural Ice and beat up our wives while we're at it? Christ almighty...

The scary thing is I actually remember one of the fellows in the posters from high school.

The capacity of the rural American to work against his/her own best interest will never cease to amaze me. It all makes me shiver...

4 Comments:

At 11:27 AM, Blogger wossy said...

"The scary thing is I actually remember one of the fellows in the posters from high school."

You should go and stick his head down the toilet and steal his science fair project.

 
At 10:44 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

Meh, keep dreaming buddy. Remember what we heard? Deviant youngsters were mixed in attendance with local doctors and other educated community members of some renown. Slumming it, I guess? No class certainly, but maybe there's nothing better for an entertainment alternative in Yreka. Events of some repute have been outsourced to Ashland, and is nothing new. It is damn frustrating the rut our hometown is stuck in. We should move back and clean the f'in' place up a notch.

 
At 11:30 AM, Blogger Drakage said...

Maybe it's a blessing in disguise. I can't think of a better way to keep those Bay Area retirees away.

 
At 6:28 AM, Blogger happyapplehead said...

I realize this is a pretty old post, but I stumbled upon it in some google search. I just want to let you know that you are not alone in wanting to see Yreka and all of Siskiyou county develop into its full potential. Please visit siskiyoutopia.com. We can make a difference! It's just going to be an uphill battle and the older generation will only go along kicking and screaming! Yea for Siskiyou county! ...stop kicking back there and shut up!....

 

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