Juvani Frisk

I Don’t Want to Talk About Politics, But I Guess I Will Since You Asked - Part 1

As a young citizen of the Sierra County I have to listen to a fair share of old people telling me what to do. College professors, police men, doctors, my parents, my parents’ friends, landlords, that drunk guy at the bar… and the list goes on. I can only tolerate so much “advice” before my brain rejects the physical world around me and takes me to a place that is much more pleasing: sitting in a beer hall in snowy Bavaria trying to flag down my big breasted, pretzel making waitress for another round. The point is- I don’t want to hear it! I know that I should pay attention, that would be the smart thing to do. I even know that if I took an interest in things like local politics, I may start to enjoy talking about the future of the Sierra Valley. Alas, I cannot do it. There is too much to learn. Names, dates, places, rules, regulations, long acronyms, and other intricacies keep me from even trying.
Let’s take the case of the Citizens of the Sierra County VS. High Sierra Rural Alliance as an example. How long would it take you to explain this ongoing dispute in enough detail for a person to feel knowledgeable on the subject?
I don’t write at night normally, and I am feeling increasingly sarcastic as the sky turns black. Please forgive me for being crass.
Recently, one of the old people with whom I reluctantly associate myself asked me the question, “Looking back from the year 2035, what would you wish we had done (regarding the HSRA and the Sierra Valley)?” After much procrastination and very little research, I chose to write this in response:

I really want to say that I don’t give a rat’s ass what you do, because I will be long gone…but then I would be lying. Although I may very likely be leaving this place in the near future, I know that it is also very likely that I will return. And I do have a vision in the back of my brain, of what I want the Sierra Valley to look like when I do settle down here. More than that, I know what I want to be able to do with my land when I return.
I believe that the world has a great sense of balance, in more senses than one. The balance to which I am referring now is between places that are vertical and places that are horizontal. Cities and such are vertical because all of the manmade structures block the line of sight and make people look up and down at their world. It is very confining and distracting, and almost always more stressful than a horizontal place. Besides, murderers and rapists love the claustrophobic cities because all of the allies give them places to hide.
The Sierra Valley, on the other hand, is as horizontal as it gets. Sure we have lots of trees and mountains that block our view, but they are stinky and boring like the side of a big sky rise. It is possible, in the Sierra Valley, to actually hear the sound of silence. There are no freeways, housing developments, night clubs, Ski resorts, or even a Wal-Mart to clutter our lives. This is Earth’s answer to overly populated metropolitans and their suburbs.
Having said that, in my mind, this is what the Sierra Valley should look like in the future:

The Sierra Valley should be a place where people can fall asleep outside, without distractions.
The Sierra Valley should smell like pine trees and cow poop.
The Sierra Valley should be a place where you can look out your window and not see anybody looking back in.
The Sierra Valley should be a place where you can shoot a gun without going to prison.
The Sierra Valley should be a place where you can be self sustaining and not reliant on nearby cesspools like Reno. (I’m not saying big box stores, but a normally priced gas station would be nice.)
The Sierra Valley should be a place where people can grow things (livestock, farms, gardens, non-defective children).
The Sierra Valley should be a place where homeowners and land owners can use their land.
The Sierra Valley should be a place where people can have fun without wrecking the earth by doing so.
The Sierra Valley is not a place for the impatient, impulsive, or unintelligent.
The Sierra Valley is not a place for big developments, because that would mean more people, and that would throw off our pretty good ratio of stupid to smart people.
The Sierra Valley is not a place for bureaucracy, because bureaucrats cannot win in a fist fight and you need to be able to do that here. The beauty of small towns, so I am told, is that you can have a small (or local) government. We don’t need any spineless politicians from Sacramento telling us what to do in Our Valley, especially when they won’t ever come up here to fight us!
And finally, the Sierra Valley is a place where you can die if you get lost outside. (This is our best “yuppie deterrence”.)

When I think of the possibility of the above actually being a real version of the Future of the Sierra Valley, I know that there are some forces that will prevent this from happening. Those forces happen to be what I would call “the extremes”. On one end you have grumpy old, close minded, anti-progress folks, that don’t want anything to change. And on the other hand, you have groups like HSRA that seemingly don’t trust anybody to protect their own land and keep the Sierra Valley one of the most beautiful places to live. Both are bad and both attempt to destroy the balance in the Sierra Valley.
If you want to hear more about the future of the Sierra Valley and why I think that the old farts and the HSRA suck, you can look forward to Part 2 on this topic coming soon.

Juvani Frisk

I dread Christmas.

It is like knowing something horrible is going to happen to you and there is nothing you can do to change it. Every year, on the same day; it is the most masochistic thing that was ever created by the human race. Do you think that I am a jerk or anti-religious? If you do, you are wrong. Christmas sucks in every way, shape and form and I intend to prove it.

Christmas was first celebrated in order to remember Jesus of Nazareth’s birth, about two thousand years ago. The actual date of his birth is unknown, but the date may have been chosen according to the ancient Roman calendar, marking the winter solstice. For my purpose, the reason that December 25th was chosen to celebrate Christmas is irrelevant. Obviously the reason that the holiday was created or what it used to mean to people thousands of years ago is of absolutely no importance to the people that celebrate it today…at least in my world. And besides, I don’t want to start sharing my thoughts on the Christian religion and its history, or you might really get mad at me. The important thing to remember is that people living in the first century (anno domino) did not shove into the entrance of their local big box store at 4:00 in the morning the day after Thanksgiving just to get the best piece of plastic for their bratty kids.

Christmas sucks for the following reasons:

  • I am forced to spend my money on things that people don’t really value. And if they do value a gift from the Wal-Mart, something is wrong with them.
  • I never have much money around the holidays, causing me to get an upset stomach thinking about buying three pairs of slippers instead of paying my electric bill.
  • People think you are the anti-Christ if you decide to not decorate the outside of your house with at least 10,000 watts of light (cranking my electric bill even higher than normal).
  • Cutting down a living tree and putting it inside of your house is ridiculous. Trees belong outside, that way if they decide to catch on fire (which they like to do around here) they will only burn themselves. Putting one inside of a house is just asking for a blackened Christmas. Besides, what did that tree ever do to you?
  • Your attic becomes increasingly smaller as your wife insists on buying more decorations every year but never wants to get rid of the old ones. (Is it possible that women are to blame for this holiday?)
  • Kids become greedy around Christmas. They complain when they don’t get right color iPod, but who cares because it will be broken before New Years.
  • Christmas has been grossly materialized in general, which is the furthest thing from anything religious. Yeah, I know some people who go to midnight mass, but I think that they only go so that their kids will be nice and tired when Santa Clause brings their bike that he forgot to assemble until five hours before the big day.

It seems to be a tradition in this country to totally ignore the economy (Nationally, locally and personally). I can understand people not thinking about the Governments money, because who knows how much they have anyway? But when people go to the store to buy gifts knowing very well that they can’t afford them, because when they rifle through their purses and wallets and can’t find anything green in there, and then they still walk out of the store with a bag in their hand, something is wrong! When I am sitting around the dead tree with my family on Christmas morning, unwrapping the ugly sweater that my grandma thought I would look handsome in, I can’t help but think to myself, can’t you just give me the cash so I can pay my bills with it?

What should we do, you ask? How about Festivus?

According to Wkipedia.org, Festivus is an alternative to the materialistic Christmas that was created in 1965 by Dan O’Keefe, and made popular by his son, a writer on the show Seinfeld. The holiday includes novel practices such as the "Airing of Grievances", in which each person tells everyone else all the ways they have disappointed him or her over the past year. Also, after the Festivus meal, the "Feats of Strength" are performed, involving wrestling the head of the household to the floor, with the holiday ending only if the head of the household is actually pinned. And the best part is that there is no dead tree. Instead, people who wish to celebrate Festivus can use a metal pole. (Site needed)

Do yourself a favor this holiday. Tell your family that they will thank you later and lose Christmas.

Happy Festivus,

Juvani Frisk


I feel like telling the truth today.

Alright Prospect Readers, this is your chance to get a glimpse into the mind of a young person in the Sierra Valley. I am sure that what you are about to read will frighten you and maybe even make you feel depressed for the rest of the day. On the other hand, you may feel inspired to seize the day and try to fix the world’s problems. Probably not…

I wasn’t born in the Sierra Valley, but I have been here long enough to consider myself a local (is twenty years long enough?). And I am not so old that I would be considered a typical reader of the Prospect; I am just in the middle. In any case, you are old and I am young, that’s the important thing to remember.

With old age comes wisdom, patience and some sort of involvement in local politics. Although the first two characteristics are not required to participate in the latter, I would like to think that some politicians are wise and patient. But quite frankly, I can’t really tell the difference anyway. This is another thing that comes with old age. Apparently, when you reach a certain age, you can’t help but distrust everybody, especially politicians. My point is, since I am telling the truth today, as a young person I don’t really care what you old farts do. Why should I?

You see, as much as fathers and mothers want their children to be involved in local government, they can’t seem to figure out how to get through that exceptionally thick skull. I believe that is a general truth amongst the readers (and even the editor) of the Sierra County Prospect that young people need to be involved to protect the future of the precious Sierra Valley. The tough thing is that the paper is only read by people over fifty. You may ask yourself why don’t young people care about this stuff? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I am going to tell you.

We (people under thirty) were raised in a generation of non-thinkers. Not the parents, they did plenty of thinking. I mean the kids were not doing much thinking. We didn’t have to because the TV did that for us. And when we did use our brains it was only in an attempt to become more popular or to figure out a way to get some money for candy and soda. I don’t know why this generation was so sheltered, maybe because we didn’t have any major wars affecting our perfect little lives. The Gulf War wasn’t exactly a hot topic amongst us sixth graders. In any case, our generation is built upon pop culture and all things artificial; it is no wonder that we don’t make the connection between our lives and local government.

The internet has not helped us young folks in determining what we should care about. This point is amplified in the little old Sierra Valley because we have access to the ever growing world of instant communication and information, which the Sierra Valley seems to be almost totally exempt. Yes, we have the Prospect, but as we determined before, only old geezers read it. When we fire up our computers we look at three things: We check Yahoo.com for the latest fads, trends, and news about what movies stars are doing. We check our email to see which lake or ski hill our friends are going to that day, or to find out what sweat deals Old Navy has online. Finally, we surf some porn to find the newest sex tape of Kim Kardashian or one of her sisters. Notice something missing? Young people don’t watch the news! It is too boring. And besides, nothing those white haired drones talk about relates to our lives. I’m getting bored just typing this.

The long and the short of it is that young people have their heads in a much different place than you old folks do. We are consumed by news that is as artificial as Pamela Andersons boobs. We have our ears filled with whatever music Ryan Seacrest tells us to listen to. We are constantly checking our Facebook and MySpace and we wish that we could pipe Twitter right into our brains. We don’t have the time to care about politics. And even if we did make time, we wouldn’t understand what was going on because we can’t relate it to our own interests.

I am going to wrap this up so I can go check all three of my email accounts and make some snarky comments to my friends on Facebook. I hate to make you feel even worse, but I have to say it. Most young people who grow up in the Sierra Valley share a common goal: To get the Hell Out of Here! Why should we care about local politics?

Yours Truly,

Honestly Ignorant

What Does That Word Mean?

What Does That Word Mean?

Every once in a while, words materialize in the popular world of which the meaning is unclear. These words are not taught in schools (at least by teachers), they don’t appear in dictionaries or encyclopedias, and they have no discernable origin. Often the word was born out of some necessity, but has long since been forgotten by the users of the word. These words typically don’t last very long, and the ones that do conquer the test of time are undoubtedly the most misunderstood. That’s natural I suppose, since all things fall apart. In any case, there is one slang word, invented decades ago, that is still in heavy use (or misuse) today: Hippy.

What the hell is a hippy? What does a hippy do or not do? Are there degrees of hippyhood, or do you just wake up one day and you are full blown? Who decides who is a real hippy? The hippy police? Can you be a fake hippy? Are you a Hippy???

I am not a hippy…I don’t think. But I sure know a few! In my mind, a real hippy can be identified by meeting at least half of the following requirements:

Hippies don’t make much money, unless they grow weed.

Hippies can’t keep a job, mostly because they hate working for other people.

Hippies may smoke lots of weed and eat a lot of mushrooms, but they swear that Meth is the devil and they would never touch it.

Hippies always have a dog.

Hippies either have very strong liberal views of the world, or they don’t give a s**t about what happens outside of their little bubble.

Hippies never have just one kid; it’s either zero or a more than two.

Hippies grow their own food or they buy it from an overpriced super market who claims to have grown their own food.

Hippies love the word organic.

Hippies smell weird.

Finally, a real hippy has undoubtedly slept on a friends couch for more than a week.

Do you disagree? I bet you do. It’s the nature of the nebulous word. Nobody knows for sure what a hippy is anymore…not even someone who calls themselves a hippy.

I will ask you again- Are you a hippy? Do you know any hippies? Do you despise the ground that hippies walk on? If you can answer yes to any of these questions please send me an email. We would love to know what you think a hippy really is. 

COMMENTS: (To post comments send a letter to meditor@sierracountyprospect.com. Your comments will be posted unless inappropriate.  your email address will not be posted.  Provide a username if you like. 

A real "hippie"  is at least 60 years old!


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