Saturday, July 4, 2009

Salem's Strange Reaction to Hippies in Eugene

So the burlesque show Pretty Things at the Roxxy Thursday night was an absolute blast. It was fun and glamourous and full of pretty things. But that's not really what I want to talk about...

Something strange happened and I still don't know quite what to think of it. The MC was making jokes and trying to get the crowd riled up and as MC's do he yelled out questions about whether we wanted to have fun and then would get a yell.

"Are you getting drunk tonight?" and the crowd yells.
"What? I can't hear you!" and the crowd yells louder!
and then he says...
"The hippies in Eugene were louder than that last night!"

Dead silence.

Seriously, not a single yell, boo, or clap. Just utter silence. Like he hadn't said a word. It was so weird. Just...silence.

So, apparently thinking he had hit on something with the hippies, a little later he tried some hippie jokes. People laughed a little, even though he wasn't a spectacular comic. I don't think he could quite figure out the crowd. And truth be told, I couldn't quite figure it out either. I reacted pretty much just like the rest of the crowd, but I don't know why.

Does Salem hate hippies? Do we hate Eugene? But there wasn't even any energy put into booing.

Maybe it was that we don't like being compared?

Is that it? We feel like we're just ourselves. We're from Salem. We don't care to be like any other city. And if you try to make us compete, we'll just stare you down. Is that what the silent treatment meant?

I'm not sure exactly what it meant. What do you think it meant?


KandN said...

I would've been a quiet one, too. I've listened to my folks and their friends make derogatory statements about hippies for most of my life. And what is a hippie? Seems to be something different to each generation when I ask. Wasn't it a movement of people who decided to break away from the rigid beliefs of their parent's generation and protest the Vietnam War?

Rebekah said...

So true. Interestingly, people seemed to laugh at the hippie jokes, it was just that comparison thing they didn't react to. I still don't know what it was all about. People were there to have a good time and get rowdy, you think they would have yelled about anything. But apparently not.

lavachickie said...

I'd have to say in general, yes; whenever I have mentioned Eugene to the "average" person in Salem, the response is usually some eye rolling and something like, "Oh, god, that place is AWFUL."

I don't get it.

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