Unwelcome to the Emerald Triangle

Let me be clear:  You are not welcome here.  How do I know? Because I’ve been here for almost six months now, and I am routinely, consistently, emphatically not welcome here, and I’m about as sympathetic to the place as anyone could be.  Don’t get me wrong – by and large, I’m pretty well liked.  Almost all the people I’ve met since I’ve moved here have been nice to me.  I’ve been invited to parties, had over for dinner with family, and included in community meetings.  Growers have invited me into their secret bat caves to show me their high-tech cloning systems and their new monster hybrids and their precious, precious mothers.  And I’ve been handed a ridiculous amount of free weed – not all I want, but way more than I would have hoped before I got here.  And I’m talking the mind-blowing product that I couldn’t get for money in L.A. –  this is the shit the growers keep for themselves before selling the rest to the San Franscisco co-ops, “pharmacies,” and old-fashioned street dealers.  So, I’ve been made to feel welcome in many ways while at the same time being made to understand that I am not.  And that goes double for everyone else.  A few people I’ve met have even tackled that homegrown xenophobia head on and gone so far as to encourage me to stay.  We need good people like you, they tell me.  Right.  Those offering invitations to stay might not have recognized in themselves what the rest know, either consciously or subconsciously; which is, that I’m not wanted here.  And you aren’t either.  Don’t come.

“Did you see that MSNBC video on the Emerald Triangle?  We’ve been overrun since that show aired.  It’s awful.  You want some weed?”  –J2Bad


9 Responses to “Unwelcome to the Emerald Triangle”

  1. January 25, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Thanks for the shoutout, the welcome, and the virtual cookies. I appreciate all of the welcoming gestures, but I also appreciate the reflexive caution. I’ve been living in L.A., so I sympathize with those who fear the baggage that Angelenos bring with them wherever they go, and I don’t blame anyone for wanting to protect their good thing. There are enough golf courses in the state already.

  2. January 25, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Six months is a very short time to feel at home anywhere.

    Sounds like you have met some nice people. If you’re really interested in being “accepted” have patience. Relationships that you seem to desire take time. Sometimes years. Meanwhile, ask yourself if you’re stressing yourself out a bit prematurely.
    All good things take time.

    Welcome to the Humboldt blogisphere, and if you’d like to know a little more about me go to my blog – davesblogcentral.com or just “As It Stands” – they’ll both get you there.


  3. 3 e.
    January 26, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Welcome to the northlands.

  4. 4 anon
    January 27, 2010 at 9:11 am

    In 6 more months you’ll be one of the people complaining about the lack of big boxes and convenient freeways. Multiply that by every Angeleno who comes and before long Humboldt might as well be Santa Rosa.

    • January 27, 2010 at 6:15 pm

      LOL! Hopefully not, though. After all, I’m not actually an Angeleno, I just lived there for a while. And it’s been a long time since I’ve felt anything but contempt for the obscene excess of not just that city, but most of the cities and communities across the U.S. that seemed to have embraced shopping as the new American dream. No, I’m very happy to live in a place that still looks more like the planet earth than the death star, and I hope that – even six months from now – I’ll still feel that way. And, incidentally, I’ve heard an awful lot of my long-term resident neighbors complaining about the lack of big box stores.

  5. January 27, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    The last time I checked this was still a free country. While people may have their opinions it is often best to ignore them since you simply cannot please everyone. Perhaps you are tuning into a vibration of worry/concern you personally hold and it is reflecting back to you through your lovely new neighbors.

    I would agree there is an attitude of the older implants wanting to be the last newcomers to the area. This goes in line with the attitude of all growth is bad growth which is a completely ridiculous notion.

    Keep your eyes on the prize and exactly what it is that you do want and it will come. Everything else is just a distraction from your own personal enlightenment.


  6. 7 SoHumBorn
    February 5, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Welcome! I mean that… it isn’t easy being new here. I know I’ve been guilty of fearing those who didn’t attend pre-school with me, but I know we want, and need fresh blood and ideas so that we can grow (no pun intended) as a community. So… a big fat “Howdy Neighbor!”

    • February 6, 2010 at 10:11 pm

      I’ll take that; thanks. And you’re not the only person born and raised here who’s welcomed me that openly – in fact, most of the people who are from here seem pretty interested in the people who want to live here. I think the unwelcome is more in the abstract – like there’s some kind of reactionary anxiety about the idea of unneighborly people moving here in large numbers and changing the personality of the place, but no actual person-to-person hostility when it comes to dealing with individuals, especially with respect to those people who see the appeal of the place as it exists and who want to live here and become part of the community. I’m sure I’ll find more of that the longer I stay. I hope that’s true, anyway. Howdy neighbor!

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