Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Bloated Parasites"

Contrary to prevailing talking points, the truly bloated parasites are not the poor. I would have loved to see Gov. LePage, or any politician for that matter, do something about the honest working men and women in the state of Maine getting screwed over by exorbitant rents, but that would entail actually going up against rich people, the ruling class' best friends.

Case in point: the peasant class here around Bar Harbor is forced to annually migrate when rental costs skyrocket at least three-fold for the few months of tourist season. Even many a "lifer" will happily temporarily relocate elsewhere just to capitalize off the greedy gold rush that seems to infect the community. Businesses that couldn't care less about the year-round locals return from their vacations, dusting off their fake countertops and smiles (no really - we once ate at an establishment that didn't even bother to have actual tables underneath the tablecloth, just squares of unfinished chipboard). Small wonder many of the year-round residents are - from our perspective - rather insular and closed off to newcomers, as it must really get old getting used by the snowbirds. Much like many places in Alaska, such is the difficulty facing vacation destinations.

The only other place I've lived where the economic disparity is at such an extreme was in Savannah (crack houses down the street from mansions), where the gap between the haves and have-nots is flaunted in opulent displays of wealth. When you see all the shuttered houses left vacant during the off-season around here it's damn shame, with many of the ones up for sale boasting a sign from Sotheby's luxury real estate properties. And yet they still keep building new ones (like this estimated $30 million dollar obscenity): it's hard to fund any viewpoint on Mount Desert Island without seeing somebody's architectural eyesore marring the view.
And it's not just Down East, it's everywhere else in America that people are spending so much just on rent, if you can even find a reasonably affordable place to live. Another pet peeve had been noticing how the roads in Maine are amongst the crappiest condition of any I've ever seen anywhere... and yes, believe it or not, that includes the Interior of Alaska. The collective wealth on this island could pay for upgrades in every conceivable aspect of infrastructure, but for the fact they mostly use instead for projects like private docks to tie their yachts up. When it comes time to eat the rich, there will be some fat pirates floating around these harbors (not withstanding the occasional Stephen King).


  1. The relationship between a seasonal prey population and indigenous hunter-gatherers depends on a tenuous balance. The locals do better in some places and worse in others. A bourgeois class of landlords holds power in some locales, keeping alive a flicker of gentry among the shanties of the working stiffs until the real rich arrive to open the big big houses for the festival of summer. The bourgeoisie bows and scrapes before the obscene wealth that makes it all possible. They're more of a bottleneck than a conduit between the majority and that reservoir of funds locked up behind a dam much more rugged than the notorious one at Johnstown, PA. (

  2. Astute observation, and that's an angle I hadn't entertained... I feel another funny comin' on...