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I don't need no education 

So school is starting. Three cheers and a hiss. Break out the ticker tape and black for mourning. Hooray and boo.

Hooray that the little brats running around town with their baggy pants and skateboards will soon have to ditch class and become illegal, arrestable truants if they want to keep running around, getting in my way, taunting me with their cruel, cruel youth.

Boo to the Cal Poly students starting to trickle into town, whining about the lack of affordable housing. I whine about the lack of affordable housing. Me. I don't need other people doing it, too especially smug, preppy Johnny-and-Janie-come-latelys who'll walk around like they own the place despite having never heard of

San Luis Obispo before they started looking for safety schools in case Harvard didn't call back.

From what I've seen so far, the Ivy League left some real social and academic gems in the lurch. My goodness. Could Whitney Houston have been horribly wrong? Are these pitiful few really our future?

I hope and pray to whoever or whomever is listening that they're not, and that the world won't fall into their hands or the hands of somebody like them.

The most disappointing part of all this is that I was once the future. Back then, people were telling me that my pants were too tight and that I needed to get a job. They were praying to whoever or whomever was listening back then that the world wouldn't fall into my hands, or the hands of somebody like me. Look what happened anyway.

Some guy, some smart-aleck guy who just wanted to get his name in print, said that youth is wasted on the young. I agree, but what do I know? I wasted my potential myself, mostly because I got wasted so much. Welcome to the future.

Film flam

HopeDance editor and publisher Bob Banner has been griping a lot lately, which isn't new and isn't news. He gripes. I gripe. We gripe. Together, we conjugate the whole griping gamut. We're like two griping grapes in a pod, or whatever it is that grapes bunch together in.

Lately, however, he's seemed gripier than usual, which is a tone so gripey, I've had to make up several adjectives of my own to describe it.

Most recently, he's been griping about an early-August presentation of his. The event, the "Exposing Consensus Reality Film Festival," drew maybe a dozen interested locals, a few of whom probably just saw the word "exposing" in the title and were hoping for a skin flick. It was, in Bob's gripe, "a bust."

Bob's been showing movies to the public recently before loading them into a renting library at the Novel Experience. The reality festival included part of a six-hour documentary about who killed JFK and an examination of UFO theories gaining popularity overseas, in places like France. Do they still like Jerry Lewis there?

The only reason I didn't go to the screening myself was because I know the second gunman personally. There's no grassy knoll mystery for me. Also, I've been in an actual UFO. It wasn't that amazing. Mostly, it looked pretty chintzy: frayed carpet, a burnt-out light bulb or two, this real strong patchouli smell. But those big-eyed guys made killer steaks. Years of cattle mutilations sure taught them how to trim a nice filet mignon.

Anyway, I'm not out to poke at Bob or anything or maybe I am, because he did mention, in a grumbly, gripey sort of way, that the low turnout for the films barely paid the expenses for the festival. Buck up, Bob. Truth is its own reward, right? That's what I tell myself, anyway, every time I mistake my paycheck for the Mensa rejection letter that cited my rock-bottom IQ as proof positive that aliens would never come looking for intelligent life here. What do they know?

Really, though, the thrust behind exposing the reality behind the lies is the exposing itself, not the profit. "Barely paying the expenses" is still paying the expenses, after all, with the added bonus of that warm feeling you get from knowing that you made a difference in people's lives, even if it was only a small handful of people, and even if one or two of them grumbled and griped about still wanting porn despite the false advertising.

If you're out to make a buck in the enlightenment field, write a self-help book. Otherwise, pray to whoever or whomever you want for peace and thank the people who do show up. If after-school specials taught me anything, it's that one person can make a difference.

Unless that one person is really, really incompetent, like most everybody I know.

I know, I know. Good intentions are, well, good and all, but you still have to pay the bills. I got nothin' for that one but amen.

Minimum overdrive

Here's a quick nod to the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors, who voted to support a $1 minimum-wage increase for California, which would knock the grand total up to a whopping $7.75 by the end of 2008. I might be dead by then, but if not, I'll be living large on an extra, let's see ... uh, $8 a day? Which translates to ... $40 a week?

Aw, crap.

Thanks, anyway guys. I guess my paychecks will continue to stand as testament to small numbers everywhere.


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